Cerner Notes Extract

Today, I posted up on Cerner’s internal customer site, twenty page document describing how to extract the compressed notes from Cerner into a Microsoft SQL Server database that has SQL File Table and Full Text Search enabled.  I will not post the document here out of respect for Cerner’s intellectual property since I show queries that would reveal a small fraction of their data schema.  However, I hope to continue to discuss some of the enabling technologies as I have in previous posts about the SQL File Table and using LZW to compress and decompress.

For our internal project, I added some great “eye candy” using the NCI Thesaurus.  Specifically, for the search terms, I used the Thesaurus for search autocomplete:


And also for a useful way to pull up definitions from inside the clinical note.  By simply highlighting a word or term and pressing the Define button, a quick definition pops up from the NCI Thesaurus.

The NIH folks have done a great job of releasing their newer content databases as delimited text files which make it a breeze to insert into a local database.  It now takes only a few minutes to pull down the latest file and insert it into SQL or some other database so that the data is available to use for things such as these two examples.
If you haven’t yet explored this great resource, I encourage you to do so now that it’s much simpler.

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