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This document serves as a roadmap to documentation of direct interest to those developing software applications and systems that use SNOMED CT .

  • Technical Overview
  • Release File Specification
    • This specification includes detailed descriptions of the files used to distribute SNOMED CT content to licensees;
    • The specification are an important source of technical reference for those developing and maintaining applications that provide access to SNOMED CT content.
  • Concept Model Overview
    • The part of the guide provides an overview of the model used to organize and define SNOMED CT content.
    • Specific details on the practical application of the Concept Model to content development is provided by the SNOMED CT Editorial Guide
  • SNOMED CT Editorial Guide
    • This document 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 document 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.
  • SNOMED CT Record Services Guide:
    • This document 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 document 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.
  • Practical Guide to Reference Sets
    • The guide provides a high level introduction to SNOMED CT reference sets, and to explain the different types of reference sets and their usage.  Furthermore, the document includes an introduction to the reference set format and provides guidance on the development and management of reference sets. Thus, the objective of this document is to support users of SNOMED CT in :

      • Understanding the purpose of reference sets

      • Knowing about the different types of reference sets and their characteristics

      • Choosing the correct type of reference set for a specific purpose

      • Creating, developing and maintaining reference sets

      • Using reference sets together with other SNOMED CT resources (for entry and display, analytics, knowledge linkage, communication)

      • Sharing reference sets

      • Adopting or adapting existing reference sets

      • Exploring and assessing the content of existing reference sets

  • Extensions Practical Guide
    • This document describes the ways in which advanced user may may 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 hierarchies, cross mapping to classifications and annotations.