Monday, February 22, 2010

IHTSDO: January 2010 International Release of SNOMED CT

Copenhagen, Denmark; January 2010 The first 2010 International Release of SNOMED Clinical Terms® (SNOMED CT®) will be available for use on January 29, 2010, incorporating enhancements that are part of on-going efforts directed towards facilitating the use of the terminology in electronic health records.

SNOMED CT is a standardized clinical terminology which facilitates the consistent capture, exchange and aggregation of health data. The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO®) releases updates to the International Release of SNOMED CT twice per year to ensure that the terminology reflects the latest clinical knowledge and evolving user needs. The January 2010 release of SNOMED CT includes numerous content enhancements, including:

(a) Streamlined Documentation

The IHTSDO has begun to convert documentation for the SNOMED CT International Release into the DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) standard. Once fully implemented, this will improve the process for maintaining and generating these documents, and make it possible to release SNOMED CT documentation in additional formats, such as HTML.

For the January 2010 International Release, three documents have been generated using DITA: one new document, the SNOMED CT Stated Relationships Guide, and two previously released documents, the SNOMED CT User Guide and the SNOMED CT Technical Reference Guide.

(b) New Content Additions

1,728 clinical concept codes were added for the January 2010 International Release. In addition, 134 SNOMED CT Model Component metadata concept codes were created and will be released as part of a Technology Preview, but are not included in the official International Release.

(c) Updated Content

Content in a number of areas of SNOMED CT has been updated to make use of the terminology more effective. Examples include:

  • Content additions as part of an operational trial of a division of labor in laboratory test terminology development being undertaken with LOINC and NPU;
  • Revision to the logical definitions of situation concept codes;
  • Updates to the Situation with explicit context hierarchy so that the logic definitions can be consistently used for both pre- and post-coordination;
  • Modeling of evaluations findings and evaluation procedures to review and sufficiently define content in these hierarchies, as well as to align logic definitions with new editorial policies;
  • Retirement of ambiguous codes related to severity in the Qualifier value hierarchy; and
  • Progress in populating the HAS DOSE FORM attribute for about 800 concept codes in the substance hierarchy.

(d) January 2010 Technology Preview

In preparation for adoption of the new “RF2” release format, it will be necessary to add a new concept hierarchy, consisting of metadata concept codes, to the Concepts table. These metadata concept codes are not part of the clinical content of SNOMED CT, but will be needed in order for the clinical content to be distributed using the RF2 format.

These changes do not affect the official January 2010 International Release, but are being included in the January 2010 Technology Previews. These previews provide versions of the January 2010 International Release content in both the current (RF1) and new (RF2) release formats. Based on feedback from the Community of Practice, the IHTSDO will determine the release date at which these changes will be incorporated into the official SNOMED CT International Release.

(Source: IHTSDO: January 2010 International Release of SNOMED CT)

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