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Anne Højen and David Markwell


SNOMED CT National Release Centers (NRCs), clinicians, developers, vendors and data analysts.


SNOMED CT reference sets provide a standard way of representing a set of references to SNOMED CT components. Reference sets are used to customize the terminology to meet a wide range of practical requirements, including constraining a search to a specific subset of SNOMED CT, or performing a map from a local code system to SNOMED CT.

This tutorial provides an introduction to SNOMED CT reference sets, and explains the purpose and design of a range of different types of reference sets. The reference set development process, and implementation considerations are also explored.


After attending this tutorial, the participant should be able to:

  • Explain the difference between a subset, a value set, and a references set
  • Describe the purposes for which reference sets may be used
  • Summarize the different types of reference sets and provide examples use cases for each
  • Describe the phases of reference set development and implementation


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