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Introduction

Clinical guidelines and clinical pathways are accepted and proven instruments for quality assurance and process optimization. Today, electronic systems of clinical guidelines exist, but they are not well-integrated with patient-specific information from the electronic health records. Consequently, generic knowledge of the clinical guidelines is accessible, but it is not possible to visualize the position of the patient on the clinical pathway and to generate decision support provided by personalized guidelines for the next treatment step. The Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine - Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) provides common reference terminology as well as the semantic link for combining the pathways and the patient-specific information. This paper proposes a model-based approach to support the development of guideline-compliant pathways combined with patient-specific structured and unstructured information using SNOMED CT. To identify SNOMED CT concepts, a software was developed to extract SNOMED CT codes out of structured and unstructured German data to map these with clinical pathways annotated in accordance with the systematized nomenclature.