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In a boost of interoperability, SNOMED CT to empower IPS sub-ontology




SNOMED International announced last week that its governing bodies had recently adopted a decision to support the extension of content within the International Patient Summary.

The organization said it would expand the core of SNOMED CT’s structured clinical terminology in order to establish and launch an open, independent IPS ontology in the first half of 2022.

This, in turn, will support international data sharing, SNOMED International said.

“2021 has seen increased interest from governments and health and care organizations globally in implementing IPS to improve the timely flow of cross-border health information and interoperability,” said Alex Elias, President of the General Assembly of SNOMED Internationals, in a statement.

“This has been a key driver at SNOMED International in supporting this latest initiative to make the IPS sub-ontology openly available with SNOMED CT content,” Elias continued.


SNOMED CT supports the representation of detailed clinical information in a way that can be processed automatically.

Meanwhile, IPS is an electronic extract of health data that contains information for use in multiple scenarios, including cross-border and unplanned care.

According to SNOMED, ​​implementers will be able to use the IPS sub-ontology in healthcare tools using SNOMED CT through its query language and hierarchies for specified purposes.

Organization opposed the proposed subtology with the global patient group, a flat list of SNOMED CT codes and terms that includes unique identifiers, fully specified names, preferred international English terms, and status flags.

Using the IPS subtology will allow more effective use of data analytics and decision support, along with artificial intelligence applications, SNOMED said.

“The importance of enabling digital healthcare systems around the world to work together seamlessly so that patients do not suffer while moving between providers, facilities and even countries is a feeling that has been rippling across the global community of health, “said SNOMED International CEO Don Sweete.

“Equipping IPS, already one of the best examples of international cooperation between standard bodies, with the full ontological design capability of SNOMED CT is a significant action that we can contribute to achieving the benefits of access to health information for patients, he added.


Global standards play a vital role in fostering interoperability, especially internationally.

Standards development organizations like SNOMED and HL7 International have decided to work together with an eye towards this goal.

Last month, the two organizations announced that they had renewed their collaborative relationship for five years, focusing particularly on initiatives that satisfy the use of the SNOMED CT terminology product with FHIR and other HL7 tools.


“SNOMED International has been pleased to continue working with HL7 International and partners across Europe and beyond to determine SNOMED CT content for use in the International Patient Review,” the Chair of SNOMED International Management Board said in a statement. , Joanne Burns.

Kat Jercich is the senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Tweet: @kjercich
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.




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