While data repositories are well-established in clinical and research enterprises, knowledge repositories with shareable computable biomedical knowledge (CBK) are relatively new entities to the digital health ecosystem. Trustworthy knowledge repositories are necessary for learning health systems, but the policies, standards, and practices to promote trustworthy CBK artifacts and methods to share, and safely and effectively use them are not well studied
We conducted an online survey of 24 organizations in the United States known to be involved in the development or deployment of CBK. The aim of the survey was to assess the current policies and practices governing these repositories and to identify best practices. Descriptive statistics methods were applied to data from 13 responding organizations, to identify common practices and policies instantiating the TRUST principles of Transparency, Responsibility, User Focus, Sustainability, and Technology
All 13 respondents indicated to different degrees adherence to policies that convey TRUST. Transparency is conveyed by having policies pertaining to provenance, credentialed contributors, and provision of metadata. Repositories provide knowledge in machine-readable formats, include implementation guidelines, and adhere to standards to convey Responsibility. Repositories report having Technology functions that enable end-users to verify, search, and filter for knowledge products. Less common TRUST practices are User Focused procedures that enable consumers to know about user licensing requirements or query the use of knowledge artifacts. Related to Sustainability, less than a majority post describe their sustainability plans. Few organizations publicly describe whether patients play any role in their decision-making.
It is essential that knowledge repositories identify and apply a baseline set of criteria to lay a robust foundation for their trustworthiness leading to optimum uptake, and safe, reliable, and effective use to promote sharing of CBK. Identifying current practices suggests a set of desiderata for the CBK ecosystem in its continued evolution
A survey of computable biomedical knowledge repositories
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