Current Version - Under Revision
This document serves as a roadmap to documentation of direct interest to those developing software applications and systems that use SNOMED CT .
- Structure and Content Guide:
- This part of the guide provides reference material on the technical design of SNOMED CT. These design features provide the foundation for the services described in subsequent parts of the guide.
- The design features include: SNOMED CT components ( concepts , description and relationships ), extensibility mechanisms ( reference sets ), content extensions and expressions that are used to represent information within a electronic record.
- Release File Specifications:
- Editorial Guide:
- This part of the guide describes the ways in which technical design of SNOMED CT is populated with content. The Concept Model specifies the main hierarchies in which concepts are arranged and the types of the relationships that are permitted between them.
- This Concept Model is directly relevant to implementation because it determines the types of clinical ideas that can be expressed using SNOMED CT and the ways in which these ideas can be refined to represent more detailed information.
- Terminology Services Guide :
- This part of the guide describes the types of services required to access and make use of SNOMED CT. It also provides practical advice on effective ways to deliver these services based on practice experience.
- These services include: importing distribution files, determining the status and properties of selected components, searching for terms , navigating hierarchies, testing and using relationships between concepts , working with references sets to determine language acceptability, membership of value sets , maps to other classification and additional annotations and metadata.
- Record Services Guide:
- This part of the guide describes the types of services required to use SNOMED CT , to represent instances of clinical information in electronic health records , knowledge resources, decision support algorithms and data retrieval specifications.
- These services include, entry of expressions (including postcoordinated refinements ), storage of expressions , communication and selective retrieval of information that uses SNOMED CT expressions to represent clinical ideas.
- As part of the consideration of storage, communication and retrieval, this part of the guide also discusses the integration of the terminology with a well-designed information model. It is now widely recognized that this is crucial element in design and development of a SNOMED CT enabled application.
- Record services are dependent on Terminology services and these two sets of services may be tightly integrated. Alternatively, an application that delivers record services may use a third party terminology server to reduce the required development.
- Change Management Guide:
- This part of the guide addresses requirements that arise from changes to the content, structure and use of SNOMED CT.
- The first significant change management challenge relates to migration from other coding schemes or from a less structured electronic record system. Decisions must be made about retaining or converting records, queries and protocols originally created using a terminology other than SNOMED CT.
- Each release of SNOMED CT introduces some changes to content. From time to time there will also be changes designed to increase the expressivity of the Concept Model. Occasionally there may also be additional technical artifacts or specification developed to meet emerging requirements.
- As systems evolve and as the content and structure of SNOMED CT are enhanced there is a continuing requirement to address to manage changes smoothly and without loss of information or functionality.
- Extension Services Guide:
- This part of the guide describes additional services which some advanced users or implementers may require to allow them to create or maintain Extensions for use in a particular country, organization or specialty.
- The most common of these requirements will be to support the creation and maintenance of specialized Reference sets. Uses for Reference Sets include representation of value sets , marking descriptions to indicate acceptability of terms in a specific language or specialty, alternative hierarachies, cross mapping to classifications and annotations.