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A SNOMED CT release package is a set of SNOMED CT components, reference set members and other related items that are distributed in a set of release files as a single archived unit by SNOMED International, a National Release Center or another organization authorized to maintain and distribute a SNOMED CT extension. A release package may include one or more complete SNOMED CT Editions (in which all dependencies are resolved) or a supplementary extension module that depends on separately packaged modules. While a SNOMED CT edition is a logical construct consisting of the contents of a focus module and the modules on which it depends, release packages are the physical unit in which some or all of an edition is distributed. A release package, which is distributed at a given point in time, is referred to as a release package version or a versioned release package. For more information on release packages, please refer to 5.6.1.2 Packaging and File Naming.

For example, as illustrated in  Figure 4.5-1 below, SNOMED International distributes the two modules of the International Edition plus the  |SNOMED CT to ICD-10 rule-based mapping module| extension in a single release package, and distributes a range of other extensions (such as the 'International Classification of Nursing Practice (ICNP) to SNOMED CT' extension) as separate release packages. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) publishes the US Edition as a single release package, while NHS Digital (UK) currently publishes the UK Clinical Edition and the UK Drug Extension as separate release packages. 

Figure 4.5-1: Release packages published by SNOMED International


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