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1330 - 1700 EDT

1730-2100 UTC

Zoom Meeting Details

Topic: SNOMED Editorial Advisory Group
Time: Oct 23, 2023 10:30 Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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    Password: 033907

Meeting Files:

Meeting minutes:

The call recording is located here.


  • Obtain consensus on agenda items

Discussion items



1Call to order and role call

This meeting is being recorded to ensure that important discussion points are not missed in the minutes.  The recording will be available to the SNOMED International community.  Joining the meeting by accepting the Zoom prompt declares that you have no objection to your comments being recorded

  • Recording of meeting approved by participants.

Conflicts of interest and agenda review

3Modeling of "No known X"

Inconsistent representation of "No known...(situation)" with proposed remodeling.  See attached document.

Different resolution depending on whether the Situation is a "Finding with explicit context" (allowed range = <<  410514004 |Finding context value (qualifier value)|) or a "Procedure with explicit context" (allowed range - <<  288532009 |Context values for actions (qualifier value)|)?


"No known" has a different meaning than "Unknown" so should be a sibling, even though both terms refer to a lack of information. 

It is not clear what some of the terms mean (e.g. known absent, definitely not present).  Other context concepts under 36692007 |Known (qualifier value)|, need to be reviewed for the logical organization and definitions, as used in modeling need to be developed


"No known" Should be added as a sibling Finding context value to "Unknown".

Existing context values should be reviewed for usage in modeling and meaning of concepts.  Concepts expressing level of confidence (possible, probably, suspected) should not be subtypes of "Known".

SI to develop a plan for reorganization of the Finding context values specifically under 36692007 |Known (qualifier value)| and add a concept for "No known" with a consensus definition.

  • Jim Case to develop a definition for "No known (context) (qualifier value)" in conjunction with the EAG
  • Jim Case to propose a reorganization and impact report on the Finding context values.
  • EAG to come up with consensus definitions for finding context values
4Transplantation vs. grafting and Terming of Transplantation concepts

Briefing note for changes in the taxonomic location of 129407005 |Grafting - action (qualifier value)| and 410820007 |Surgical transplantation - action (qualifier value)| is attached.  Comments on proposed changes are requested.

Ancillary to the change in the Action hierarchy, there are concerns about the current terming of many transplantation concepts, where the precise meaning is unclear.  Most of these concepts have the form "Transplantation of....".  In the case of solid organs, the intended meaning is clear, i.e. transplantation of a donor organ to a recipient; however, for transplantation of tissue concepts, the intended meaning is unclear.  Does it mean "Transplantation from X" or "Transplantation to X", and is the type of tissue implied


119661004 |Transplantation of tissue of hand (procedure)|

119717000 |Transplantation of tissue of nose (procedure)|

Does 69428003 |Transplantation of uterine tissue (procedure)| mean transplantation of donor uterine tissue to the uterus of a recipient? Is this even a real procedure or just a grouper for the single subtype?

For the most part, this type of concept represents a grouper for subtypes such as "surgical transfer", "Surgical advancement" and "Surgical recession", which do not involve a donor-recipient relationship. If these serve only as "action" groupers and do not represent real procedures, should they be retained or inactivated?  If retained, is the FSN clear?

Also the model based on EAG feedback would include Procedure site - direct and Procedure site - Indirect. For further discussion does (a.) the transplanted body structure = the Procedure site - direct (b.) Procedure site - indirect is this the location in which the transplanted organ is placed.

However many transplanted body structures including tissues do not currently exist. For transplants involving whole organs and tissues harvested from donors is a Procedure site - direct of < 24486003 |Structure of transplant (body structure)| correct (e.g. 81510007 |Structure of transplanted heart (body structure)?

Use of Procedure site - direct and Procedure site - Indirect i.e. no Direct substance (attribute) differs from very similar grafts and flap reconstructions that use  Method (attribute), Procedure site - Direct (attribute)  and Direct substance (attribute)

An updated briefing note is attached to the agenda.



5Mechanical complication of device

First discussed by EAG on 2023-04-04:

Summary of the initial discussion:

Mechanical complication concepts are classification derived (ICD-9, ICD-10, and ICD-11) and may refer to injury or harm to a patient caused by a failure, breakdown, or malfunction of a device.  Coding guidance indicated that (for ICD-11) the disorder caused by the mechanical complication should be coded first and then associated with the device. Thus, the intended meaning of these concepts imply a disorder in the patient due to some issue with the device. The actual terms are index terms in the ICD.  Example:

PK91.22 Cardiovascular devices associated with injury or harm, mechanical or bioprosthetic valves (ICD-11)

This would suggest that these concepts are correctly placed in the taxonomy, and they are currently mapped to ICD disorders (i.e. injury or harm to patient) but are possibly not modeled sufficiently to express the implied meaning. 

Implantable devices might be considered as a type of body part, thus a disorder of the device would of necessity cause a problem in the patient and should be a disorder. While there may not be a morphological abnormality, there is an abnormality of the device. Is a new attribute needed to represent device abnormality?  This discussion is restricted to medical devices and not transplanted tissues and organs.

An updated briefing note is attached to the agenda.


Definition of implantable device is needed to appropriately assign the proper METHOD value in procedures.  The proposed definition:

A medical device that is either:

a) inserted partially or fully into the body via an orifice and/or surgical intervention which is intended to remain in situ postprocedure; or

b) intended to replace an epithelial surface of the body or corneal surface of the eye and remain in situ postprocedure

General consensus is that this is OK, but the need for the definition was still not clear to everyone.

These mechanical complication concepts originated from ICD-9 and may refer to either a malfunction of the device (as described in ICD-9 and ICD-10) or an injury to the patient due to a malfunction of a device (as described in ICD-11). The general discussion leaned towards a lack of clinical value of these grouper concepts.  There was no consensus as to what defines a mechanical complication.  They may provide value as statistical groupers, but of little value in the context of clinical care. 


Consensus to propose to inactivate all specific "mechanical complication" grouper concepts due to unclear meaning.  Specific complications associated with devices would be created if requested by membership.  Briefing note will be developed and circulated. 

  • SI to prepare a consultation note to distribute to the CoP to determine use of these concepts in advance of inactivation.
6Evaluation procedures to Observable Entity

A briefing note circulated in August proposed a movement of evaluation procedures, initially focused on laboratory procedures, from the Evaluation procedure hierarchy to the Observable entity hierarchy.  This proposal was a result of many years of discussion about the duplicative nature of Evaluation procedures, inconsistency in modeling of clinical findings using the INTERPRETS relationship and a divergence of the representation of these types of concepts from other observation standards such as LOINC and NPU.  There was substantial opposition to this proposal from member countries that have long used Evaluation procedures for ordering.  A presentation explaining the rationale is attached and will be used to inform the discussion. 

Summary presentation of the issues attached



Replacement of "Surgical approach" with "Procedure approach

In May 2023 the EAG discussed the potential for eliminating the distinction of "Surgical procedure" due to the challenges in developing an internationally acceptable definition for what constitutes a surgical procedure.  An ancillary topic that was not discussed in detail was the generalization of the "Surgical approach" attribute and replacement with the unapproved attribute "Procedure approach".  A briefing note describing the issues is attached.


Discussion was not included in the meting recording.  Will revisit at the next EAG call.



8Next meetingEAG

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