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Table 7 Unified medical language system semantic types

From: Using routine referral data for patients with knee and hip pain to improve access to specialist care

Description Definition
Diagnostic procedure A procedure, method, or technique used to determine the nature or identity of a disease or disorder. This excludes procedures which are primarily carried out on specimens in a laboratory.
Daily or recreational activity An activity carried out for recreation or exercise, or as part of daily life.
Disease or syndrome A condition which alters or interferes with a normal process, state, or activity of an organism. It is usually characterized by the abnormal functioning of one or more of the host's systems, parts, or organs. Included here is a complex of symptoms descriptive of a disorder.
Finding That which is discovered by direct observation or measurement of an organism attribute or condition, including the clinical history of the patient. The history of the presence of a disease is a ‘Finding’ and is distinguished from the disease itself.
Functional concept A concept which is of interest because it pertains to the carrying out of a process or activity.
Health care activity An activity of or relating to the practice of medicine or involving the care of patients.
Injury or poisoning A traumatic wound, injury, or poisoning caused by an external agent or force.
Occupational activity An activity carried out as part of an occupation or job.
Physiologic function A normal process, activity, or state of the body.
Pharmacologic substance A substance used in the treatment or prevention of pathologic disorders. This includes substances that occur naturally in the body and are administered therapeutically.
Sign or symptom An observable manifestation of a disease or condition based on clinical judgment, or a manifestation of a disease or condition which is experienced by the patient and reported as a subjective observation.
Tissue An aggregation of similarly specialized cells and the associated intercellular substance. Tissues are relatively non-localized in comparison to body parts, organs or organ components.
Therapeutic or preventive procedure A procedure, method, or technique designed to prevent a disease or a disorder, or to improve physical function, or used in the process of treating a disease or injury.
Body related concept This is a custom concept and is a union of 3 concepts: Body Location or Region, Body Part, Organ or Organ Component and Body Space or Junction, whose definitions are provided below.
Body location or region An area, subdivision, or region of the body demarcated for the purpose of topographical description.
Body part, organ, or organ component A collection of cells and tissues which are localized to a specific area or combine and carry out one or more specialized functions of an organism. This ranges from gross structures to small components of complex organs. These structures are relatively localized in comparison to tissues.
Body space or junction An area enclosed or surrounded by body parts or organs or the place where two anatomical structures meet or connect.