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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization formally characterized coronavirus, COVID-19, as a global pandemic and health systems globally are continuing their efforts to manage the outbreak. Coronavirus disease COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. As the global terminology for health, SNOMED CT can serve as a common language for recording, communicating and analyzing COVID-19 related data.


This guide is intended to illustrate how SNOMED CT can be used to record, communicate and integrate clinical data related to COVID-19, for the purposes of frontline service delivery, pandemic surveillance, and retrospective data analysis. In particular, this guide provides practical examples of SNOMED CT subsets that could be used as value set bindings for a collection of relevant data elements. A set of computable SNOMED CT subset artefacts will be developed to accompany the guide.

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The scope of this document has been guided by the collective needs and experiences of our SNOMED International Members.

The primary focus of the guide is to provide example SNOMED CT subsets for data elements covering the following key areas:

The example subsets included in this guide use concepts that are in, or are planned to be added to, the SNOMED CT International Edition. This provides a foundation for international collaboration and research on COVID-19. Some examples of SNOMED CT extension concepts, added in National Editions of SNOMED CT, are also provided for a number of data elements. Please note that these extension concepts should only be used in implementations where the relevant Edition is deployed.


The primary audience of this guide is the SNOMED National Release Centers (NRCs), who themselves may be required to provide national or regional guidance to their local implementations during or after the COVID-19 pandemic.


This guide has been developed in collaboration with our SNOMED National Release Centers (NRCs) and other Member representatives. We would like to thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience to collectively help in the development of this COVID-19 guide.


The following references were used in the development of this guide.