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Current Version - Under Revision

The content of SNOMED CT evolves with each release. The types of changes made include new concepts, new descriptions, new relationships between concepts and new reference set members, as well as updates and retirement of any of these components. Drivers of these changes include changes in understanding of health and disease processes; introduction of new drugs, investigations, therapies and procedures; and new threats to health, as well as proposals and work provided by SNOMED CT users.

Once released, the unique identifiers of SNOMED CT components are persistent, and their identifiers are not reused. When a component becomes inactive this is indicated by the value of the active field, which is present in all components. Components continue to be distributed even when they are no longer active. This allows a current release to be used to interpret data entered using an earlier release.

Since the implementation of Release Format 2 (RF2), all changes in components are represented in the corresponding files, by adding a new row, with the same component ID, a new effective time and any necessary change in the component values.

Component Inactivation reference sets are used to indicate the reason for inactivating a component. These reasons include errors, duplication of another component and ambiguity of meaning, and the files are used to describe reasons for inactivation of concepts, descriptions.

Historical Association reference sets are used to refer from inactive components to other components that duplicate, replace or supersede them.

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