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The primary use of SNOMED CT is to enable information to be entered in a health record and stored in a manner that enables selective retrieval. Effective selective retrieval is required to support aggregation, analysis and decision support. Information in a health record may need to be communicated in the interests of the patient or to enable larger scale aggregation and analysis. Communication of information should convey the information expressed using SNOMED CT expressions in ways that preserve the semantics and thus enable recipient systems to process the information effectively.

The following sections discuss requirements for  record services that support entry, storage, retrieval and communication of  SNOMED CT encoded health record information. Record services are illustrated by the diagram below.

Figure 1-1: SNOMED CT Enabled Record Services