SNOMED CT

SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine -- Clinical Terms), is a systematically organised computer processable collection of medical terms providing codes, terms, synonyms and definitions covering diseases, findings, procedures, microorganisms, substances, etc. It allows a consistent way to index, store, retrieve, and aggregate clinical data across specialties and sites of care. It also helps in organizing the content of medical records, reducing the variability in the way data is captured, encoded and used for clinical care of patients and research. The primary purpose of SNOMED CT is to support the effective clinical recording of data with the aim of improving patient care. It is a structured collection of medical terms that are used internationally for recording clinical information and are coded in order to be computer processable. It covers areas such as diseases, symptoms, operations, treatments, devices and drugs. Its purpose is to consistently index, store, retrieve, and aggregate clinical data across specialties and sites of care. It helps organizing the content of electronic health records systems, reducing the variability in the way data is captured, encoded and used for clinical care of patients and research. Specific language editions are available which augment the international Edition and can contain language translations as well as additional national terms. SNOMED CT is considered by some to be the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world. It provides for consistent information interchange and is fundamental to an interoperable electronic health record. It can be used to record the clinical details of individuals in electronic patient records and support application functionality such as informed decision making, linkage to clinical care pathways and knowledge resources, shared care plans and as such support long term patient care. The availability of free automatic coding tools and services, which can return a ranked list of SNOMED CT descriptors to encode any clinical report, could help healthcare professionals to navigate the terminology.

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