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SNOMED CT

What is SNOMED CT?

Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) is the standard for electronically exchanging clinical health information. It encompasses the clinical healthcare terminology used in electronic health records (EHRs). SNOMED CT is a standard implementation in healthcare that spans across countries and languages.  

The coded terms that are a part of SNOMED CT are used to capture, record, and share clinical data in EHRs. They are organized into four categories: concepts, descriptions, relationships, and reference sets.  

The SNOMED CT codes are numerical and six digits long, at minimum, but they can be longer. For example, the SNOMED CT code of anemia (disorder) is 271737000.  

SNOMED CT continually updates its content based on user needs and feedback. In 2013, the United States federal government required SNOMED CT in EHRs to comply with Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

Why is SNOMED CT important for healthcare?

SNOMED CT offers a standardized way to represent clinical phrases, supporting the development of comprehensive clinical content in EHRs. When a patient sees multiple doctors, all healthcare providers have access to the same relevant clinical information, helping to standardize care and improve patient health outcomes.