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SNOMED Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) is the leading global healthcare terminology. Designed for use within Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, SNOMED CT is a key component in effective solutions to enable meaning-based retrieval from growing volumes of clinical information and to support interoperable information exchange. First released in 2002, SNOMED CT has grown in maturity and since 2007 has been owned and maintained by a not-for-profit organization IHTSDO, that in 2017 formally adopted the trading name SNOMED International. SNOMED International has 30 national Members and thousands of licensees.

SNOMED CT is used to represent clinical information in a coded form, with the level of expressivity appropriate for clinical documentation, and also with extensive support for meaning-based retrieval, analysis and reporting.

SNOMED CT is a valuable resource. However, its value is only realized when integrated within well-designed systems that take advantage of its key features. This guide introduces those features and outlines different options for implementing and utilizing SNOMED CT in software applications to deliver tangible benefits.


This "Vendor Introduction to SNOMED CT" provides an informative practical introduction to SNOMED CT focused primarily on the needs of vendors and developers of EHRs and other related applications in healthcare information technology.

This Vendor Introduction provides an authoritative basis on which to build more detailed knowledge. Basic information about SNOMED CT including its benefits can be found in the SNOMED CT Starter Guide. In-depth technical information can be found in the Technical Implementation Guide (TIG) and other guides. All these are available from the SNOMED CT Documentation Library. Further information about other available documents is provided in Section 8.

Target Audience

This "Vendor Introduction to SNOMED CT" is targeted at people engaged in the development of EHR systems and related services. The document will also be of interest to a broader audience including anyone engaged in designing, developing, procuring, deploying, configuring or managing EHR systems and services.