Many clinical applications include data entry interfaces controlled or assisted by protocols, templates or structured data entry forms. Each field on a data entry form may allow only a limited set of terms or concepts to be entered . The set of candidate term or concept may range from very small (e.g. a set of priorities for a procedure) to very large (e.g. any general diagnosis). Reference sets can be used to restrict the possible values that meet the requirements of a particular data entry protocol.
Examples of using reference sets to support search and data entry include:
5.2.20 Ordered Reference Set can be used to prioritize search results or provide an alternative ordering of search results.
5.2.7 Annotation Reference Set can be used to supplement search results or data entry options with additional textual or coded information, such as advice on intended usage.
A SNOMED CT enabled application can use an appropriate reference set to display the valid data entry options and constrain text searches. For more detailed use case examples, please refer to the following sections: