Wolters Kluwer Health (WKHealth)recently released its RxNorm CrossReference Files. This is a more userfriendlyversion of the National Libraryof Medicine's (NLM) standardizednomenclature for clinical drugs. Thenew data provide a subset of the fieldsavailable in the Unified MedicalLanguage System (UMLS) Metathesaurusfor RxNorm and map them toexisting WKHealth concepts.
RxNorm has been identified to supportthe electronic prescribing plans includedin the Medicare Modernization Act of2003. By providing NLM's RxNorm standarddrug identifier, it allows health careprofessionals to transmit messagesbetween systems and map drug conceptsbetween proprietary data sets at alevel other than the National Drug Code.
In a comparison of the RxNorm subsetof WKHealth and NLM's program,WKHealth's product is updated weeklyand monthly. The NLM's RxNorm is currentlyupdated quarterly or monthly.While NLM's UMLS provides mapping toWKHealth's generic drug concepts,WKHealth's RxNorm Cross ReferenceFiles include mapping to WKHealth'sdrug concepts of Drug Descriptor ID andDrug Name ID. WKHealth's RxNormCross Reference Files also include a"variance" flag to identify distinctionswith mappings between RxNorm andWKHealth's drug concepts.