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An innovative approach to the issues raised by literal storage of is to implement an repository. Each unique used in the system is stored in a referenced database table and assigned an internal unique (e.g. a UUID). When an is used in a clinical record entry the unique id is used to reference the in the repository.

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Both are equally close to the objective of minimizing . A rule is needed to determine which of these is preferred. There is no obvious right or wrong solution to this but a simple rule that places the attributes in an order will, if applied consistently, allow all representations to be reduced to a single minimized form.

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If the retrieval criteria are expressed in a similar form, a relatively simple query can interrogate the record for all entries with a matching set of and specified characteristics.