Guideline based clinical decision support models and ontologies in dentistry

Hi everyone,

Are there any plans for developing computerised clinical guideline models within dentistry and will that come under the scope of OpenOdonto? At present from the description of OpenOdonto it seems the organization has restricted itself to promoting open source software.

For example,

  • Information Models- I can see there has been some efforts in this area by OpenOdonto using archetypes. Good start. Long way to go. But information models are only 1 part of the whole picture.

  • Dental ontologies/terminologies- Previous attempts have been made, but participation have slowed down due to various reasons (Oral Health and Disease ontology). Others have published ontologies within dentistry (PerioO). You could argue that existing terminologies are good enough. But are they? There is a lack of good domain ontologies in dentistry.

  • Inference models- Decision support rules, guidelines models, care pathway models etc. This is where the data collected from EHRs can really be used to deliver chair side benefits in terms of improved clinician and patient outcomes.

Currently all these efforts are done more or less in isolation. Ideally IMHO, they should developed in tandem.

In short, is there a long term road map for OpenOdonto?


Hi @Gopi Odonto currently has no plans as yet for developing computerised clinical guideline models.

Our initial focus has been to develop a community of clinicians and bring clinicians together so that they can explore and document their user needs. The clinicians were clear…they want a platform with a variety of features that support frontline clinical care. Starting with the obvious (everyday) features and working to develop and share open data models using OpenEHR.

I would have thought this would need to be in place first before guideline development (which would be within the business logic.

Hi Becky. We met in Birmingham where I suggested that could be a useful resource for people wanting to create and share computer executable guidelines etc. OC is also building a user community but that isnt on the critical path to creating an open access, open source repository of executable decision support and pathway applications, as we already have more than 50 “publets” on our database. Do take a look at for an idea of what we are trying to do and at to see where we have got to. We would be delighted to support you in achieving your goals!

Best wishes
John Fox
Oxford University and OpenClinical

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