March 31, 2005

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March 31, 2005 Teleconference



  • Harold briefly described the HL7 flavors of null and how they were organized.
  • A question was raised about the difference between optional fields that were omitted and fields that were present but null.
  • David observed that the HL7 flavors of null and their definitions had a very "H&P" (patient centric) focus. The task of information abstraction has a very different focus and requirements. Examples:
    • Not sought - didn't bother to look for it
    • Not reported - looked for it but it couldn't be found
    • Reported and Done - ????
    • Not identified - not seen
  • Jim described that the mouse sequence had a number of embedded flavors of null, for example:
    • not applicable
    • not specified
  • The question was raised whether Null flavors could be generalized. David suggested that the EVS was the place to record and resolve these various issues. He also suggested that flavors of null might be tightly coupled with the more general problem of negation. David suggested "robustly stocking EVS with terms that cover the different flavors of null".
  • Rebecca mentioned that the notion of negation in text may apply here as well.

Action Items:

  • Post the flavors of null on the mailer
    • Harold Solbrig
    • Due 4/1
    • Complete - posted on this WIKI
  • Find out how HL7 deals with present but null
    • Harold Solbrig
    • Due 4/4