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The starting point for a consideration of data entry is an efficient method for performing text searches and

Glossary ref
subtype hierarchy
Glossary ref
Gloss
Spacetrue
tsubtype hierarchy
Gloss
tnavigation
. When these functions are integrated in a terminology glossary-ref
Gloss
tbrowser
, it is possible to select a glossary-ref
Gloss
tConcept
by text search and then to refine or generalize the selection to identify a more appropriate glossary-ref
Gloss
tConcept
for recording.

A terminology

glossary-ref
Gloss
tbrowser
built into an application or offering a programmable interface can be used to allow a user to select a glossary-ref
Gloss
tConcept
(and/or glossary-ref
Gloss
tDescription
) and enter this into a record.

This method of data entry allows unconstrained selection of any

glossary-ref
Gloss
tConcept
from glossary-ref
Gloss
tSNOMED
CT
. This can sometimes be useful but such an unrestricted method should only be used as a fallback, when more selective approaches cannot be used.

Anchor
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Limitations of simple browsers

A general-purpose

glossary-ref
Gloss
tbrowser
capable of searching and navigating through the Glossary ref
Glossary ref
SNOMED CT
Gloss
Spacetrue
tSNOMED CT
Gloss
thierarchy
is a simple starting point. However, this approach is unlikely to meet the requirements for anything other than occasional entry of glossary-ref
Gloss
tSNOMED
CT
encoded information. More selective mechanisms tailored to particular data entry contexts are likely to be more usable and may promote more consistent data recording.

In most situations in which clinical data is entered, access to the full content of

glossary-ref
Gloss
tSNOMED
CT
through a simple search and
Glossary ref
hierarchy
Glossary ref
Gloss
Spacetrue
thierarchy
Gloss
tbrowser
is unlikely to be necessary and may be cumbersome and unhelpful. The main reason for this relates to the size and structure of the terminology. As a result:

  • Many terms
    Specref
    RefTypefield
    tterm
    may match a single word or short phrase resulting in a long list of options;
  • The depth and breadth of the glossary-ref
    Gloss
    tsubtype
    hierarchy
    and glossary-ref
    Gloss
    tnavigation
    may require selection of choices from several screens to locate the required glossary-ref
    Gloss
    tConcept
    .

There are many ways to improve and simplify

glossary-ref
Gloss
tSNOMED
CT
data entry. Some of these can be used in a wide range of situations. Others are specific to constrained contexts that occur in structured data entry driven by a template or protocol.