Users must be equipped with adequate knowledge and skills that enable them to practice the tasks of the specific user group. Moreover, it is important that users are trained to understand and conduct SNOMED CT implementation in accordance to the visions, strategy and infrastructure of the given Member country. The following sections consider the roles of SNOMED International and NRCs in education and training related to SNOMED CT.
SNOMED International Role in SNOMED CT Education
The overall role of SNOMED International in SNOMED CT education and training is to provide consistent information about SNOMED CT, advice about benefits and guidance on effective ways to use SNOMED CT in order to realize those benefits. In addition, wherever possible, SNOMED International shares its documents and training services in ways that enable NRCs to reuse, translate and customize them to meet national requirements. The documents, educational resources and services that SNOMED International provides to assist the process of learning about SNOMED CT are outlined below.
SNOMED CT Document Library
The SNOMED CT Document Library provides online access to a wide range of SNOMED CT related documents. These documents range from SNOMED CT introductions targeted at particular audiences, through to detailed specifications, specialized guides and reports. On the Document Library web pages you will find a short introduction to each of the documents, and a link to allow you to freely access these documents. These documents are available either for online browsing or as PDF downloads - and in many cases both formats are provided. Some documents include draft materials, and therefore readers should be aware of the status of the document or section, which is indicated either by textual status notes on individual pages or in the document preface.
The Document Library (http://snomed.org/doc) provides access to the key documents about SNOMED CT
Feedback from Members on the documentation is important for SNOMED International to ensure that the readers are provided with the best possible materials for learning about SNOMED CT. Members/users/readers are requested to provide any kind of feedback on the documentation, for example if clear faults or missing content are detected, or if there are some unclear parts that need clarification.
Comments on online documents can be posted as comments on the pages of the published document. For documents that are not available online, please look in the document for details of how to comment.
SNOMED CT E-Learning Courses
SNOMED International offers online SNOMED CT training courses. Currently these courses are available free-of-charge. However, each course has an application form that must be completed to sign-up for the course.
SNOMED CT Foundation Course
The objective of this course is to extend the depth and breadth of knowledge of SNOMED CT in the global community. The course aims to provide authoritative coverage of a broad range of topics related to SNOMED CT at a relatively basic level. It also enables the growth of more detailed understanding of SNOMED CT by enabling those who complete this course to join more advanced SNOMED CT E-Learning courses in future. This course is targeted at anyone seeking to acquire or demonstrate a broad foundational knowledge of SNOMED CT.
Applications are permanently open and all applicants should be offered a start date within 4 to 6 weeks of receipt of their application. Study is self-paced and is expected to require a total of 30-35 hours. The course must be completed within a maximum of four months but it is possible to complete it within as little as two weeks.
SNOMED CT Implementation Course
This course builds on knowledge gained during the SNOMED CT Foundation course. It provides an understanding of SNOMED CT that is sufficient for those engaged in various parts of the implementation process – from the decision to adopt SNOMED CT, through to specification and procurement and/or design and development of SNOMED CT enabled solutions, to deployment and practical use.
Successful completion of the Foundation Course is a prerequisite for applying for this course. The first intake new intakes occur in January, May and September each year and capacity of each intake is limited. The course duration is 6 or 7 months with an estimated time commitment of 15-20 hours per month.
Content Development Theory Course
This course is initially aimed at National Release Center staff in Member countries that are developing or planning to develop a National Extension. It may also be of interest to other organizations that are developing SNOMED CT Extensions.
Successful completion of the Foundation Course is a prerequisite for applying for this course. The first intake new intakes occur in January, May and September each year and capacity of each intake is limited. The course duration is 3 or 4 months with an estimated time commitment of 15-20 hours per month.
Other courses and specific additional course modules are under consideration for development in 2016.
Open Access E-Learning Presentations
A small collection of open SNOMED CT Starter presentations can be viewed without the need to login to an account on the server. They provide an introduction to some of the key benefits and features of SNOMED CT. This is a good place to start learning informally before joining a course. A growing collection of additional open access online presentations will become available in late 2016 to those who have created an account on the E-Learning Server without the requirement to enroll of a formal course.
SNOMED CT Challenge
The SNOMED CT Challenge is a randomly generated test consisting of ten questions. This open access service but requires you either to create an account or to login using a temporary anonymous account.
Other Educational Materials
The E-Learning Server also includes a set of pages that provides access to Other Educational Resources. The materials referenced in these pages are not part of the E-Learning service provided by SNOMED International. However, they include many interesting conference presentations related to SNOMED CT as well as links to SNOMED CT educational services provided by Members.
The SNOMED CT E-Learning Center can be accessed via this webpage: https://elearning.ihtsdotools.org.
SNOMED International Training Schemes
SNOMED International hosts a Consultant Terminologist Program to train people in skills related to SNOMED CT development. The program recruits new participants once a year, with announcements appearing on the SNOMED International webpage. NRCs may be interested in nominating individuals who have an established understanding of SNOMED CT for this program, for example to train NRC staff.
Consultant Terminologist Program
This program is designed to train individuals who can assist the Head of Terminology and Head of Content to address content development issues and to develop editorial policies and procedures. One outcome for participants is to understand and describe the phases of editorial policy development and the differences between each phase.
To read more about this program and to see lists of former participants in this and other training schemes see: http://snomed.org/consultant-terminologist.
SNOMED In Action
SNOMED International has a website called SNOMED In Action, which offers Members and other users an opportunity to register SNOMED CT deployments and provide various details about specific SNOMED CT implementation and usages. Other Members and users may be inspired to follow these examples, or get in contact with persons and institutions that have been involved with specific SNOMED CT implementations.
SNOMED International encourages Members and other stakeholders and users to register their SNOMED CT deployments on this site in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and awareness about how SNOMED CT can be applied and how to reap its benefits.
On this webpage you find an overview of different examples of SNOMED CT in use, and you also have the opportunity to register your own SNOMED deployment: http://www.snomedinaction.org.
NRC Roles in SNOMED CT Education
To address national implementation requirements, NRCs are encouraged to supplement or customize training resources published by SNOMED International. This includes translating documents and training resources where necessary. Education related to some specific aspects of national strategy may be well served by materials developed from scratch by the NRC. For example, if specific reference sets are to be used within specific clinical domains to meet specific reporting requirements, then guidance on the use of these Reference sets could be needed along with information about the reporting procedures.
Whether an NRC develops its own training materials or modifies resources provided by SNOMED International, it is important that any explanation of SNOMED CT be accurate and in accordance with the formal SNOMED CT specifications. Therefore, the NRC should regularly review the its SNOMED CT related training materials to ensure alignment with updates to International materials.
If an NRC takes on education of the national Affiliates and users, it is important that staff of the NRC have a broad and deep understanding of the different implementation levels and possibilities and can facilitate requests from different user groups. Alternatively, the NRC can advise or direct Affiliates to places and persons where they can get the appropriate guidance. The NRC must therefore be aware of people, nationally or internationally, who have the appropriate skillsets to educate and guide users on specific topics. A combination of internal and external resources to provide training and education is a reasonable solution for many NRCs.
Individuals learn in different ways. The NRC may wish to consider delivering face-to-face or online training so that individuals get a chance to ask questions and develop their thinking. Short introductory sessions on the principles of SNOMED CT and a walk through the release are good ways to get people started. They may then find the reference materials much more accessible.