Implications of Knowledge Organization Systems for Health Information Exchange and Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic06/24/2020
This article aims to review the important roles of health knowledge organization systems (KOSs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Different types of knowledge organization systems, including term lists, synonym rings, thesauri, subject heading systems, taxonomies, classification schemes, and ontologies are widely recognized and applied in both modern and traditional information systems. Apart from their usage in the management of data, information, and knowledge, KOSs are seen as valuable components for large information architecture, content management, findability improvement, and many other applications. After introducing the challenges of information overload and semantic conflicts, the article reviews the efforts of major health KOSs, illustrates various health coding schemes, explains their usages and implementations, and reveals their implications for health information exchange and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some general examples of the applications, services, and analysis powered by KOSs are presented at the end. As revealed in this article, they have become even more critical to aid the frontline endeavors to overcome the obstacles due to information overload and semantic conflicts that can occur during devastating historic and worldwide events like the COVID-19 pandemic.