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Enhanced Narrative Sections

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See CDA R3 Formal Proposals for instructions on using this form. Failure to adhere to these instructions may result in delays. Editing of formal proposals is restricted to the submitter and SDTC co-chairs. Other changes will be undone. Comments can be captured in the associated discussion page.

Submitted by: Michael Tanenblatt Revision date: 13 April, 2010
Submitted date: 13 April, 2010 Change request ID: <<Change Request ID>>


Currently, the narrative section of the CDA is fine for expressing what is in a clinical document, but it is lacking some needed features if it is to be used for NLP. We developed a specification that mimics CDA in many ways, but adds the needed features to allow NLP tools to operate intelligently. By added these features, a document could then be used as input to an NLP system that would be able to generate the remaining structured portion of the CDA document. We believe it will make for a more useful CDA, opening up its use up to a community that has been very lukewarm in its acceptance. of CDA.


  • See the attached document, "Semantically Labeled Document Structure Specification (SLDSS)" [1]


The specification proposed is very similar to CDA, so we suspect it would need only minor revisions to fit neatly into CDA. Once it is available, the NLP community would be able to process CDA narratives more intelligently. A document that is based solely on the proposed format could be used as a seed for an NLP system to generate full CDA document.


Recommended Action Items


May 4 SDWG: Discussed with committee. Committee asked to have proposal brought back with a specific set of recommendations. Sept 9, 2010: No further input from Michael. We believe these requirements can be addressed with existing constructs. Will close this proposal. opposed: 0; abstain: 0; in favor: 13.