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Current Version - Under Revision

Effective implementation of SNOMED CT depends on the speed and simplicity with which users can locate the terms and concepts that they wish to use. A busy clinical user may become frustrated if the content they need cannot be quickly located when they search using familiar words or phrases. For this reason an efficient search strategy should address the following issues:

  • Speed of search:
    • Search speed should be optimized by use of appropriate indexes.
  • Search should not be too sensitive to word order or exact phrasing:
    • Search should be insensitive to word - order variants:
    • Allow use of acronyms or abbreviations for frequently used terms:
      • For example, "MI" for "myocardial infarction" or "mitral incompetence".
    • Search should take account of word form variants:
      • For example, "inflamed", "inflammatory", "inflammation".
  • Excessive search results should not hinder selection of the required


    • When several


      of the same


      match the search key, only one should be displayed.

The purpose of this section of the implementation guide is to describe strategies a developer might use to implement the search requirements outlined above.

The SNOMED CT Developer Toolkit contains several files, which help to support efficient search mechanisms. These include the Excluded words table, four keyword indexes and the Word Equivalents Table summarized by .