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Thursday, February 25, 2016

To be or not to be

Allergic ... that is the real question.  The answer, one would expect, to show up in an AllergyIntolerance resource.  Except that resource is described as:

A record of a clinical assessment of an allergy or intolerance; a propensity, or a potential risk to an individual, to have an adverse reaction on future exposure to the specified substance, or class of substance.
Where a propensity is identified, to record information or evidence about a reaction event that is characterized by any harmful or undesirable physiological response that is specific to the individual and triggered by exposure of an individual to the identified substance or class of substance.
And yet to reason about allergies is also to reason about their absence, and a reasoner could be (reasonably) expect to discover all that is known about allergies in the AllergyIntolerance resource. Because, in a clinical assessment, there is the outcome of "not allergic to X", where X can represent a specific substance (latex), a class of substances (beta-lactam antibiotics), or the universal set of everything (medications).  And yet we have no SIMPLE way to represent this, except as the reason for a LIST of such allergy resources being empty.

If we do not get this right, everyone will certainly remember our sins.

   -- Keith




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