Working with SNOMED CT and clinical terminology involves many different stakeholders with different objectives and different roles. An NRC can promote successful SNOMED CT adoption by engaging clinicians, vendors, system owners, etc. and supporting awareness of each stakeholder's role in the process of SNOMED CT adoption, implementation and use. However, engagement of users can be difficult, and it is therefore important that the NRC consider how best to engage the various stakeholders. Some Members choose to establish dedicated forums where users and vendors can be regularly updated on the latest initiatives and developments. Alternatively, newsletters and national conferences can be effective in maintaining communication and engagement with relevant stakeholders. For an NRC, such initiatives may also be used to encourage stakeholders to become involved in SNOMED CT development or implementation at an international level through involvement in SNOMED International, for example as participants in Advisory Groups, Project Groups or Clinical Reference Groups.
There are various ways to promote the engagement of stakeholders, but is important to approach the stakeholders selectively on topics which are relevant to a specific user group. If the user can see the point and feel convinced of the potential benefits and the importance of their engagement, they will be more likely to feel encouraged to participate and take responsibility.
Advice for engaging stakeholders:
- Disseminate SNOMED CT potential and benefits: Who is it for? What can it do? What are the benefits?
- Give examples that relate to the work of the specific stakeholder/user group.
- Engage in regular contact to give stakeholders the opportunity to raise issues (and get them resolved) collectively.
- Find SNOMED CT Champions: Find someone or a group that has successfully implemented SNOMED CT and leverage that success to engage others. Encourage these champions to tell others about their experience of the practical value of using SNOMED CT.
- Explain how SNOMED CT fits within the systems and standards already in use: Usually users don't know how SNOMED CT will influence current practice.
- Take on national initiatives: Focused subset and content development activities are very useful for engaging clinical groups.