Term: Health Metadata

Description: Metadata are data about data, of any sort in any media. An item of metadata may describe an individual datum, or content item, or a collection of data including multiple content items. The word meta comes from the Greek, where it means 'after' or 'beyond'. In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category); thus metadata is 'data about the data'. Metadata (sometimes written 'meta data') are used to facilitate the understanding, characteristics, use and management of data.
Health Metadata is structured or semi-structured information that documents the creation, management and use of records through time and across domains. It can identify, authenticate and contextualize records and the people, processes and systems that create, manage and use them.
A system must be capable of extracting metadata elements automatically from records when they are captured because the metadata is important in healthcare. The system must permit metadata values to be retrieved and captured from lookup tables or from calls to other software applications. The system must be interoperable. The system must allow creators of records to enter manually pertinent record metadata that cannot be captured automatically. All changes must be captured.

Metadata in healthcare might be when a medical record was sent or received, who sent it or received it, etc.

Health Metadata is important so people are informed about how, when and where medical records were received or sent, when documents were modified, etc.

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Related Terminology:
Medical Records Management

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