Appl Clin Inform 2012; 03(03): 349-355
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2012-05-CR-0019
Case Report
Schattauer GmbH

Case Report Medical Eponyms

An Applied Clinical Informatics Opportunity
L.N. Guptha Munugoor Baskaran
1  Departments of Information Systems
2  Internal Medicine
5  Center for Clinical Informatics Research and Education; The MetroHealth System and School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
,
P.J. Greco
1  Departments of Information Systems
2  Internal Medicine
5  Center for Clinical Informatics Research and Education; The MetroHealth System and School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
,
D.C. Kaelber
2  Internal Medicine
4  Epidemiology, and Biostatistics
5  Center for Clinical Informatics Research and Education; The MetroHealth System and School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 19 June 2012

accepted: 29 August 2012

Publication Date:
16 December 2017 (online)

Summary

Medical eponyms are medical words derived from people’s names. Eponyms, especially similar sounding eponyms, may be confusing to people trying to use them because the terms themselves do not contain physiologically descriptive words about the condition they refer to. Through the use of electronic health records (EHRs), embedded applied clinical informatics tools including synonyms and pick lists that include physiologically descriptive terms associated with any eponym appearing in the EHR can significantly enhance the correct use of medical eponyms. Here we describe a case example of two similar sounding medical eponyms – Wegener’s disease and Wegner’s disease – which were confused in our EHR. We describe our solution to address this specific example and our suggestions and accomplishments developing more generalized approaches to dealing with medical eponyms in EHRs. Integrating brief physiologically descriptive terms with medical eponyms provides an applied clinical informatics opportunity to improve patient care.