Search can be required for defining Concepts and Descriptions that are used in subsequent data retrieval from patient records. The effectiveness of a search technique depends on the requirements for reporting and analysis (e.g. creating a query that searches for SNOMED CT coded data within specific subtype-hierarchies).
The integration of clinical decision support tools into clinical record systems can help to improve evidence-based practice. The binding of SNOMED CT to knowledge artifacts enables the linkage between the knowledge content in clinical decision support and the SNOMED CT coded data items in the clinical record. The binding typically entails searching for the SNOMED CT Concept. Effective techniques for searching for SNOMED CT Concepts for data entry can improve the assessment of the context of a Concept within SNOMED CT prior to binding and the overall binding efficiency.
For example to review content coverage
There can be various use cases for reviewing SNOMED CT content. For example, terminology content can be evaluated to decide whether the coverage of SNOMED CT is a sufficient to fit documentation purposes (e.g. a cardiovascular surgeon could assess whether SNOMED CT covers all cardiovascular terms). This assessment typically entails searching for SNOMED CT Concepts which requires effective search techniques.
In mapping, searching to identify SNOMED CT Concepts required to be mapped to or from another code scheme (e.g. ICD-10 or local codes) is required.
For example to represent subsets of terms and concepts
Identifying subsets of Concepts or Descriptions for inclusion in a Reference Set typically requires searching SNOMED CT content.
Realizing and understanding the comprehensiveness and complexity of SNOMED CT may be a steep learning curve for users. Searching and browsing through navigational results can aid the learning process. Thus, effective search techniques increase the chances of finding the required content and understanding where it fits into the overall structure of SNOMED CT.
Terminology authorities such as National Release Centers may need to edit SNOMED CT Descriptions to adhere to national or local linguistic/editorial guidelines. This entails searching large subsets of Concepts and Descriptions. Thus, effective search techniques are required to find the correct Concept or Description within these large subsets.