When developing simple reference sets, there are different methods which can be applied to determine what concepts to be included in the subset. The two overall approaches to defining the reference set members are manual enumeration and intensional definition.
Figure 6.3.3-1: Reference set development approaches
Identifying reference set members by manual enumeration is useful when the number of members required is limited or when migrating from a well-specified domain. The source information may come from a variety of sources, such as:
Manual enumeration is also useful when the reference set should be stable over time, i.e when addition of concepts, in subsequent releases of SNOMED CT, is not required to be reflected in the reference set.
Identifying reference set members intensionally is useful for creating subset of concepts who share a set of common characteristics, such as:
Intensional definition of reference set members is also useful when changes to concepts, in subsequent releases of SNOMED CT, is required to be reflected in the reference set.