So, what criteria should a Standardized Terminology meet?

It’s a fair question, and follows on nicely from our previous articles about why Standardized Terminology is important and what Standardized Terminology really means.

You might be surprised to learn that all standardized terminologies are not equal.

Here’s our guide to some of the qualifications any good standardized terminology should meet, and what you need to look for.

Extensively Tested for Reliability and Validity

Standardized terminology is a piece of your EHR software that is meant to support you.

  • When you’ve invested dollars and training into an EHR you want to ensure it is based on a standardized terminology that has demonstrated consistent integrity and accuracy

You need a standardized EMR terminology you can count on.

The last thing you want is for your public health EHR software, your agency and your clients to be a test subject for the workability of a standardized terminology.


Standardized terminology should be interdisciplinary, branching across your entire agency.

The whole point of having a standardized terminology is to aid with:

  • Consistentcy
  • Accuracy
  • Communications

That’s why you need a standardized EMR terminology that works with every branch of your agency including:

  • Public health
  • Home health
  • Mental health
  • Human Services
  • And others

Simple but Robust

Other important aspects of Standardized EHR Terminology are simplicity and robustness.

You need an EHR based on standardized terminology that makes sense and is easy to learn.

  • Remember, the clearer the EMR terminology is, the more accurately it will be used by all your staff

However, you don’t want simplicity at the cost of usability or flexibility.

Standardized terminology should be robust, built to be easily grasped but widely applied.

It is vital to have a standardized EHR terminology that fits your needs and applies to all the various situations you will need to document.

Meets Federal, State, and Local EHR Regulations

You don’t want just any standardized terminology.

  • You want your standardized terminology to meet all the stringent criteria to fully integrate and operate with electronic health records

Certain agencies, such as the US Department of Health and Human Services, have established interoperability standards.

Terminologies that pass the selection criteria for Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) Tier 2  receive approval from that agency.


Wading into the pool of standardized terminologies and EHR options can be overwhelming; having established standards or agencies who can do the research legwork then offer a stamp of approval, can make your job much easier.

Check the pedigree of your standardized EMR terminology before making a purchasing decision.

Nightingale Notes EHR software is built on the Omaha System, which is a research-based, American Nurses Association (ANA)-recognized standardized EHR terminology that meets all the criteria above. It is in use by over 22,000 practitioners, across the care continuum and across the globe.

Want more information? Contact Us at (507) 388-4141 and tell us what you need.