SNOMED CT is a clinical terminology containing concepts, with unique meanings and formal logic-based definitions, organized into hierarchies. The clinical content of SNOMED CT includes diagnoses and other clinical findings, clinical observations, drug products, organisms, specimen types, body structures, and surgical and non-surgical procedures.
SNOMED CT enables clinical information to be consistently represented at an appropriate level of detail within electronic health records. The relationships within SNOMED CT then facilitate meaning-based retrieval of this information at the preferred level of detail for the given query. This provides significant flexibility and facilitates the integration of data from divergent models of use, such as different user interfaces or databases, into convergent models of meaning, such as for the representation of data for reporting or statistical analysis purposes. Clinical systems can thereby query and analyze electronic health record data recorded in different settings, at varying levels of granularity and across multiple axes. This enables SNOMED CT to support a variety of clinical processes, which may require either detailed or high-level information - from investigation, to diagnosis and clinical research.
SNOMED CT content is represented using three main types of component:
In addition to these three types of components, SNOMED CT also supports:
In this section we introduce these SNOMED CT features and explain how they may be used to support analytics over health data. For more detailed information about SNOMED CT features, please refer to the SNOMED CT Starter Guide and the SNOMED CT Technical Implementation Guide.
We also discuss the specific benefits enabled by using SNOMED CT. For more details about the benefits of SNOMED CT please refer to Building the Business Case for SNOMED CT.