SNOMED CT is an international standard distributed by the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO). It is a clinical terminology that covers a wide range of concepts related to health from specialities, clinical findings to procedures. It is important to note that SNOMED CT is not a software. It is a terminology that can be used to encode, retrieve, communicate and analyze clinical data allowing health professionals to interpret information.
SNOMED CT is extensible and allows you to add synonym, adapt to local preferences and add new concepts that are not found in the international edition. This allows the registration of clinical information in the systems in a standardized way and associated with codes and with the appropriate levels of detail through the use of relevant clinical concepts.
Internationally, more than 70 concepts have been promoted to the core of SNOMED CT. As usual, every year, free basic and advanced SNOMED CT courses are offered, open to the community.
An efficient way to capture a clinical act and be able to transmit it would be the use of “Terminologies”. A “Terminology” allows capturing the meaning of a clinical act because it is referenced to as a standard. There are many terminologies (generic name) in which we could group taxonomies, ontologies, thesauri, and controlled vocabularies. They provide coverage to different domains such as hospital activity, electronic medical history, laboratory, genetics, etc. (for example ICD10, LOINC for laboratory or SNOMED CT).
SNOMED CT is derived from a term in Pathological Anatomy (used for more than 40 years), which basically describes the morphology and topography of the findings in pathological anatomy (SNOMED RT). The terminology grew over the years and was joined by the Clinical Terms Version 3 (CTV3) developed by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom. 5-7 years ago, they formed SNOMED CT that today can be considered as the most developed in the world.
The term is constituted, in a basic way, by concepts, descriptions and relationships. These elements are intended to accurately represent information and clinical knowledge in the field of healthcare.
SNOMED has more than 300,000 concepts, more than one million relationships between concepts and is a technological resource that has its complexity. The SNOMED implementation courses are recommended doing little by little.
SNOMED can be seen as a hierarchical tree, but in addition to having a “father” and “son” relationship, it has cross relationships through attributes that allow modelling and setting the meaning of the concepts it contains.
Some of its interesting features include:
(*) This in the world of Apps is still not very important, but in the case of Clinical Histories, it can serve as a diagnostic aid.
What you get, thanks to interoperability, are data that can be used because different systems are understood and if the systems are understood, the data provided by different systems and/or devices can be integrated, as in the case of the glucometer and the Electronic Medical Record.
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