SNOMED CT is a language for health terminology that is recognised
as the most comprehensive set of healthcare terms in the world

“The adoption of a standard terminology system is essential to the implementation of the eHealth Strategy for Ireland, including implementation of Electronic Health Records and ePrescribing, and it is also essential to the delivery of a health information infrastructure based on the principle ‘create once use many times’. SNOMED CT plays a key role in healthcare informatics and facilitates the effective exchange of meaningful information between healthcare systems.”
 Recommendations regarding the adoption of SNOMED Clinical Terms as the Clinical Terminology for Ireland.

SNOMED CT is a language for health terminology that is recognised as the most comprehensive set of healthcare terms in the world. It facilitates clinicians and other healthcare professionals to record patient data more accurately and comprehensively, as it provides a standardised set of clinical terms for use across more than 80 countries.

After establishing a close working relationship with the Irish National Release Centre (NRC), the IPU’s Product File Department identified a series of concepts that are not currently included in SNOMED CT, and these are now coded as part of the SNOMED International Update Files.

What is SNOMED CT?

SNOMED CT is internationally recognised as a robust terminology for healthcare, enabling relevant clinical information to be recorded using consistent and common representations as well as giving support to a more 

widespread objective of interoperability between all care systems, in both primary and secondary care.

What is Ireland’s relationship with SNOMED?

On 31 October 2016, the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the HSE announced that, in conjunction with the Department of Health, it had joined SNOMED International. 

The Irish Pharmacy Union subsequently applied for and received an affiliate licence for SNOMED CT.

What is an example of a concept the
IPU contributed to SNOMED CT?

Dabigatran 100mg capsule is a medicine used to prevent the formation of blood clots after surgery. This is just one example of a clinical drug that is widely prescribed but does not exist currently in the SNOMED CT terminology. These clinical drugs will now be coded and launched as part of SNOMED’s July update. 

This will contribute to the sharing of information in a timely and accurate manner between different healthcare professionals, improving quality and safety of care for patients.

What is an NRC?

The NRC is the National Release Centre. NRCs are required to serve as primary points of contact for SNOMED International with regards to all aspects of the management of the terminology products. NRCs are the primary points of contact for Affiliates within a Member country.

Affiliates can contact the NRC for guidance and direction with respect to implementation and use of SNOMED CT within the Member country. The NRCs serve as intermediaries between the Affiliates and the SNOMED CT community.