SNOMED mapped to ICPC-2 for continuity of health data

I got this off from Pulse+IT Magazine, which in my humble opinion, is good news as the convergence will lead to a more granular level of interchangeability.

A subset of the SNOMED clinical terminology specifically for health encounters in general practice has been released, along with a map from the subset to the International Classification of Primary Care, Version 2 (ICPC-2) used for coding systems in general practice electronic medical records.

The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO), which is responsible for SNOMED CT, and the World Organisation of Family Doctors (Wonca), which develops and maintains ICPC-2, have jointly developed the general practitioner/family physician (GP/FP) subset, which includes concepts that represent the terms commonly used by GPs to describe reasons for encounter or health issues (problems).

The development work was led by the University of Sydney’s Family Medicine Research Centre (FMRC), which is also responsible for the BEACH project, a national study of general practice activity in Australia. The centre has also developed the ICPC-2 PLUS coding system used by many popular GP clinical systems in Australia.

FMRC medical director Graeme Miller said the GP/FP subset and map would enhance the usefulness of SNOMED CT for GPs around the world.

“SNOMED CT is very complex, with about 300,000 concepts to choose from,” Associate Professor Miller said.

“The GP/FP subset reduces this complexity by directing GPs to content that’s relevant to their clinical practice. The map from the GP/FP subset to ICPC-2 allows data recorded using SNOMED CT to be extracted using the well-recognised ICPC-2 classification.”

Dr Miller said there was a complementary relationship between SNOMED CT and local clinical terminologies and classifications such as ICPC-2, which was designed for reporting data from general practice. When used together, these terminologies can enhance direct clinical care, clinical information sharing and for data analytics.

The subset released by the IHTSDO and Wonca was developed by identifying terms commonly used by GPs in five countries so it doesn’t contain all the content needed by Australian GPs, Dr Miller said.

“The next steps are to convert the subset to the Australian language version of SNOMED, called SNOMED CT-AU, and to extend the subset to include other concepts Australian GPs need to use as health issues or reasons for encounter,” he said.

“The terms currently used in GP electronic health records need to be mapped to the GP/FP subset, and then to ICPC-2 and ICD-10-AM, the classification used in the hospital system. This will promote continuity of health information throughout the health system.”

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