Action verbs should be written in noun form within SNOMED CT descriptions.  This most often means the verb will end with a suffix of –tion, -sion, -ment, -al, -ence, or -ance.

For example,

    • Destruction instead of destroy
    • Incision instead of incise
    • Replacement instead of replace
    • Removal instead of remove
    • Maintenance instead of maintain

However, the root form of the verb may be used when it does not make a word when ending in noun suffixes.

For example,

    • Control
    • Release 
    • Care

Lastly, the verb with a suffix of –ing may be used when the root form of the verb may cause ambiguity in the meaning, i.e. the root form of the verb could also be a physical object.

For example,

    • Wiring instead of wire
    • Suturing instead of suture
    • Splinting instead of splint
    • Mapping instead of map
    • Grafting instead of graft


Common usage may dictate some exceptions.

For example,

    • Repair instead of repairment

Although ‘repairment’ may be considered a valid word, its use has fallen out of common usage in comparison to ‘repair’. 

Check for approved and unapproved naming patterns in the Precoordination Naming Pattern Project.

Past tense

A past tense verbal phrase should not be used to name a procedure, since it indicates that the procedure was done in the past.

Unacceptable example, 

    • Hand tendon ganglion excised indicates the procedure was done, as a past tense declarative statement. 

However, the following is an acceptable example using a noun phrase, 

Situation hierarchy

Existing descriptions containing past tense verbs should be moved to the 243796009 | Situation with explicit context (situation)| hierarchy.

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