One Step Away from Technology but One Step towards Domain Experts-MDRBridge: A Template-Based ISO 11179-Compliant Metadata Processing Pipeline

Ann Kristin Kock-Schoppenhauer*, B. Kroll, M. Lambarki, H. Ulrich, S. Stahl-Toyota, J. K. Habermann, P. Duhm-Harbeck, J. Ingenerf, M. Lablans

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Summary Background Secondary use of routine medical data relies on a shared understanding of given information. This understanding is achieved through metadata and their interconnections, which can be stored in metadata repositories (MDRs). The necessity of an MDR is well understood, but the local work on metadata is a time-consuming and challenging process for domain experts. Objective To support the identification, collection, and provision of metadata in a predefined structured manner to foster consolidation. A particular focus is placed on user acceptance. Methods We propose a software pipeline MDRBridge as a practical intermediary for metadata capture and processing, based on MDRSheet, an ISO 11179-3 compliant template using popular spreadsheet software. It serves as a practical mediator for metadata acquisition and processing in a broader pipeline. Due to the different origins of the metadata, both manual entry and automatic extractions from application systems are supported. To enable the export of collected metadata into external MDRs, a mapping of ISO 11179 to Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) Operational Data Model (ODM) was developed. Results MDRSheet is embedded in the processing pipeline MDRBridge and delivers metadata in the CDISC ODM format for further use in MDRs. This approach is used to interactively unify core datasets, import existing standard datasets, and automatically extract all defined data elements from source systems. The involvement of clinical domain experts improved significantly due to minimal changes within their usual work routine. Conclusion A high degree of acceptance was achieved by adapting the working methods of clinical domain experts. The designed process is capable of transforming all relevant data elements according to the ISO 11179-3 format. MDRSheet is used as an intermediate format to present the information at a glance and to allow editing or supplementing by domain experts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18010124
JournalMethods of Information in Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)E72-E79
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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