SNOMED CT release files contain some concepts that are not intended for clinical use. These metadata concepts represent additional information that supports the structure and design of the terminology. All metadata concepts are subtype descendants of the top-level concept
900000000000441003 |SNOMED CT Model Component|.
One use of metadata concepts is to represent enumerated values that can be applied to particular fields in release files and this is known as concept enumeration.
Concept enumeration is the
use of SNOMED CT concept Identifiers to represent of a set of values for a property of a particular type of SNOMED CT component.
- Concept enumeration serves the same general purpose as more general approaches to providing enumerated lists of values. However, the use of concept identifiers, rather than a sequential or arbitrary set of numbers, allows the human readable meaning of each enumeration to be accessed in the same way as terms associated with clinical concepts. Additionally, use of a hierarchical parent to specify the permitted values, enables the range of values to be updated when necessary.
- The SNOMED CT concepts used to represent concept enumerations are usually subtype children (or descendants) of a relevant general concept in the SNOMED CT metadata hierarchy. Each possible value is represented by a single child concept.
Metadata concepts in other sub-hierarchies of
900000000000441003 |SNOMED CT Model Component| are used for a range of purposes including:
For more information, see 4.1 Concept enumerations .