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Sunday, August 21, 2011

SNOMED, Standards and the NHS

We recently read that SNOMED has been approved as 'fundamental standard' for use in the NHS - but what does that mean? Certainly this upbeat article in eHealth Insider contrasts sharply with some of the comments below it, many of which adduce the ever-expanding timescales associated with the introduction of READ codes.

It would be interesting to know what the informatics community think about the potential for semantic approaches to replace static coding - or can we look to smart interface designers to take the strain out of clinical coding for clinicians? We will be soliciting some answers on this theme from our industry friends in the coming week and will post their perspectives as they come through.

Here's part of one of the responses to the EHI article just to whet your appetite:

"The challenge with all of the above coding systems is while the catalogue size of the probable number of terms promises to help immensely with semantic interoperability they are immensely dense to the average end user clinician. SNOMED CT also promises the benefit of clinical context when codified properly, but that adds further complexity to the average clinician...position, laterality, presence/absence of???."

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