This section provides an overview of:
design and development
An awareness of features, , characteristics and products provides an initial foundation on which to build greater understanding. It also informs discussions leading to decisions about adoption, implementation and use of this terminology.
Enables consistent, processable representation of clinical content in
When implemented in software applications, can be used to represent clinically relevant information consistently, reliably and comprehensively as an integral part of producing electronic health information.
Implementation requires an understanding of the way that content is represented by and supported by (Refsets).
While reading the guide, you may find it useful to explore the content of . You can do this using one of a range of online listed on our web site at http://snomed.org/browsers. Note that the listed are not endorsed by and they should only be used to a get feel for the content and structure of the terminology. It is useful to experiment with several different as they vary in the way they present particular features of the terminology.
SNOMED CT is a core clinical healthcare terminology that contains with unique meanings and formal logic based definitions organized into . content is represented using three types of :
representing clinical meanings that are organized into hierarchies.
which link appropriate human readable to
which link each concept to other related
These are supplemented by , which provide additional flexible features and enable configuration of the terminology to address different requirements.
represent clinical thoughts, ranging from |abscess| to |zygote|. Every has a unique numeric . Within each are organized from the general to the more detailed. This allows detailed clinical data to be recorded and later accessed or aggregated at a more general level.
link appropriate human readable terms to . A can have several associated , each representing a that describes the same clinical concept. Each of includes an additional set of , which link in another to the same . Every has a unique numeric
link concepts to other whose meaning is related in some way. These provide formal definitions and other properties of the . One type of is the which relates a to more general . These define the of
For example, the |bacterial pneumonia| and |viral pneumonia| both have an |is a| relationship to |infective pneumonia| which has an |is a| relationship to the more general |pneumonia|.
Other types of represent aspects of the meaning of a
For example, the |viral pneumonia| has a |causative agent| relationship to the |virus| and a |finding site|to the |lung|.
Every has a unique numeric
(Refsets) are a flexible standard approach used by to support a variety of requirements for customization and enhancement of . These include the representation of , language preferences for use of particular and from or to other code systems. Every has a unique numeric
are organized in hierarchies. Within a range from the more general to the more detailed. Related in the are linked using the |is a| relationship.
has a broad coverage of health related topics. It can be used to describe a patient's medical history, the details of an orthopedic procedure, the spread of epidemics, and much more. At the same time, the terminology has an unmatched depth, which enables clinicians to record data at the appropriate level of granularity.
Specific applications tend to focus on a restricted set of , such as related to ophthalmology. These can be used to present relevant parts of the terminology, depending on the clinical context and local requirements. This means for example, that a drop down list to select diagnoses in an in a mental health facility can be tailored to that setting. Similarly, can be defined for problem lists for physician specialties or to provide appropriate medication lists for nurses in community care.
When individual jurisdictions have needs beyond those that can be reflected in a global terminology, perhaps due to requirements in local legislation, they can develop local or national . Thus, even though is global in scope, it can be adapted to each country's or areas requirements. maps work to provide explicit links to health related classifications and coding schemes in use around the world, e.g. such as , and . Maps to or from several national code systems are also available from, or under development, by . Maps to or from clinical domain specific code systems are also maintained by specialty groups with which has collaborative agreement. Maps facilitate reuse of based clinical data for other purposes, such as reimbursement or statistical reporting.
is a multinational, multilingual terminology. It has a built-in framework to manage different and . The includes a set of language independent and . Today, is available in US English, UK English, Spanish, Danish and Swedish. Partial into Canadian French, Lithuanian, and several other are currently taking place, and further are being planned by The basic objective of any is to provide accurate representations of in a way that is understandable, usable, and safe. must be based. Translators need to analyse based on the and take account of its position within the , its , and its to other . This enables a meaningful of a based on phrases that are well used and clearly understood in all countries. maintains guidelines and other materials to support countries undertaking translations.
and organizations covered by the SNOMED CT have access to a range of products and services, including:
works that help in the uptake and use of , including that support:
Identification of of SNOMED CT content
or preferences for use of particular
Other relevant to support use of
Implementation guidance for successful use of including:
Participation in the global community through an electronic collaborative space and meeting of special interest groups.