The NICE taxonomy: a case study of
developing a corporate taxonomy
Sadia Mughal
Health Libraries Conference
19th July 2010
What will be covered…
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Need for a taxonomy
Why develop a taxonomy
Requirements of the taxonomy
NICE taxonomy: key features
Developing the NICE taxonomy
Issues encountered
Future of the NICE taxonomy
Summary
Need for a taxonomy
• Merger of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence
(NICE) and the Health Development Agency (HDA) in
April 2005
• Taxonomy developed in-house by the Information
Services Team, with consultant advice
Why develop a taxonomy?
A classification scheme providing a consistent language
across NICE to support website navigation and the
efficient search and retrieval of information
OR…
…a way to organise and make sense of
the “NICE universe”
Requirements of the taxonomy
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Cover all subjects within NICE's remit
Simple in structure
Include both professional and lay terminology
Have a single set of:
preferred terms (professional terminology)
non-preferred terms (lay terminology, synonyms
and acronyms)
NICE taxonomy: key features
7 top level terms, known as Facets:
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Illness or Condition
Medical Specialities
NICE
People and Populations
Public Health
Settings
Treatments, Procedures and Devices
Facet structure
Broader Term
(BT)
Narrower Term 1 (NT1)
Narrower Term 2 (NT2)
Cancer by Site
Cancer
Cancer by Type
ILLNESS OR CONDITION
Digestive
System
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Liver Diseases
Cardiovascular
Pancreatic Diseases
Individual
Facets
Drug Treatments
TREATMENTS,
PROCEDURES AND
DEVICES
Surgical
Procedures
Diagnostic
Therapeutic
Public Health Practice
PUBLIC HEALTH
Accidents
Health Behaviour
Alcohol Misuse
NICE Taxonomy: key features
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Facets are arranged in hierarchical order
The taxonomy is multi-hierarchical
Contains synonym relationships
Half the terms are synonyms
Currently contains 1700 terms
Updated once a month
Managed in MultiTes software
Developing the NICE taxonomy
Several health terminologies were used:
• International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10)
• Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
• Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine- Clinical
Terms (SNOMED-CT)
• British National Formulary (BNF)
• International Classification for Surgical Procedures
• Public Health Language (PHL)
• Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV)
• Department of Health (DH) taxonomy
Creating the facets
• Top levels of ICD-10, PHL and BNF were used to form
respectively, the clinical, public health and drug
treatment facets
• MeSH, SNOMED-CT, the DH and IPSV taxonomies
were used as sources of terms and synonyms
• International Classification for Surgical Procedures was
used for surgical procedures terms
• IPSV was used to provide 'lay terms' as synonyms
Issues encountered (1)
• How simple/complex should the taxonomy be?
• How deep should we index?
• Solution: to keep the taxonomy simple
• Electronic Guidance Access Project (EGAP)
Issues encountered (2)
• The need for a review of the taxonomy:
– Individual facets evaluated and key issues identified
– People and Populations facet
– Audience facet (new)
– Settings facet
Future of the NICE taxonomy
• The new Population, Audience and Settings facets will
allow personalisation of guidance.
• Pilot test underway
• Taxonomy is not perfect, but FIT FOR PURPOSE
• Taxonomy is never a finished product
NICE Taxonomy
NICE Taxonomy is available at the following web address:
bit.ly/nicetaxonomy
Summary
• Developed as a browsing, navigation and search tool
for the NICE website
• Specific requirements of the taxonomy
• Structure of the NICE taxonomy
• Development of the NICE taxonomy
• Issues encountered
• Future of the NICE taxonomy
Any questions…?
Sadia Mughal
Assistant Information Specialist
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
MidCity Place , 71 High Holborn , London WC1V 6NA
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 44 (0)20 7045 2104
Web: http://nice.org.uk
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NICE taxonomy