"The (Computer-Based Patient Record) CPR ontology burrows its name from the Institute of Medicine term used to define medical records systems of the future and the important features that distinguish them for EHRs of today. In particular, it defines a set of requirements including a Record Content category, which states: Uniform core data elements, standardized coding systems and formats, a common data dictionary, and information on outcomes of care and functional status.
The requirement of a set of uniform core elements is meant to be directly addressed by this ontology. In addition, it attempts to define a minimal set of terms that provide grounded, ontologically commitment for the representations shared between many of the healthcare information (such as HL7 RIM), process and terminological models via the use of foundational ontologies.
In addition, a major influencing principle is that as far as the application of ontology for the benefit of medical informatics is concerned, a pragmatic approach is necessary - one that compromises between a purely 'realist' approach and a cognitive approach that refrains from committing to a representation of the intrinsic nature of the world. For those aspects of reality for which there is significant consensus on the underlying science and use of terminology, an ontology should try as much as possible to capture the constraints that reflect this consensus. However, where such constraints do not provide any direct benefit in the use ontology in a CPR, we should refrain from any further formalization. The general motivation is to allow ontologies to facilitate the use of computer reasoning in playing an important role in the scientific method, but at the same time protect against an excessive attempt to reduce every aspect of clinical medicine to metaphysical distinctions that do not have any legitimate benefit."