Project Description

Tell me about SNOMED

SNOMED is an international terminology which provides unique codes to represent clinical concepts for use in healthcare and clinical practice. It is a code system adopted in many countries as a standardised way to represent and share health information.

What is it used for

SNOMED is used to code clinical concepts in a way that computers can identify them uniquely. These codes are used to support clinical decision computer systems and information sharing between healthcare systems and professionals (semantic interoperability).

Who uses SNOMED

  • Governments – as a code system for required reporting and information exchange standardisation. Governments are also responsible for the national release centers which manage country specific versions and licensing for SNOMED.
  • Software vendors – install the code system in their computer systems so that it may be used by their clients and products
  • Healthcare provider organisations and individuals – to represent information in their computer system

How would this knowledge aid me

Many are being asked to implement SNOMED – into software products, healthcare systems, data collections, electronic health record systems and clinical decision support system, but what does this give you and why would you do it?
SNOMED is a code system which represents not only the meaning of clinical concepts in a way a computer can search and and retrieve information relevant for information exchange, mapping to other classifications for reporting, or to identify potential clinical issues using clinical decision support. For these purposes SNOMED must be implemented to represent the correct and precise meaning. This is a different skill to coding in ICD-10-AM or allocating of a code for simple reporting – these codes can impact patient care and safety. To get the most out of SNOMED
  • Decision makers – need to understand what is needed in their organisations to implement and use SNOMED safely and efficient and the skills needed in their organisations
  • Software providers – need to understand the implications of correct use of SNOMED and how to implement the features of SNOMED, such as equivalence evaluation, in order to safely implement clinical decision support systems.
  • Clinicians and Data Managers need to understand how meaning is represented in SNOMED in order to select correct concepts and implement systems in a practical and safe manner, as well as how to ask for new content in SNOMED.


Understand the reasons why SNOMED is increasingly the code system of choice for healthcare. What is it about SNOMED that is more than just a code system and what do our systems need to be able to leverage the ‘magic’ of SNOMED.

How does SNOMED CT work?

Understand the basics if how SNOMED offers support for EHRs and clinical decision support systems as well as information exchange based upon the basic system design. What are the things that SNOMED can do that are different to other code systems? Understand these basics and it will help you understand what is needed for successful implementation, and the questions to ask your software vendors when purchasing systems.

SNOMED CT in a world of code systems

there are many code systems used in healthcare and SNOMED is just one of them. How is SNOMED different to ICD, or other common code systems? Understand the differences both in how the code system of SNOMED works, but how it offers functionality beyond our traditional code systems. This course explains where each code system fits – they all have their place but where do they fit in the puzzle.?

Introduction to information models and terminology

SNOMED is not just a code system it is structured and that structure offers functionality which computer systems can leverage to improve how our computers and knowledge systems operate to improve the safety and efficiency of healthcare. To use SNOMED properly you need to understand the relationship between the concepts in SNOMED (The snomed information model) but also how this relates to the information model of an EHR or an information exchange paradigm.

Skills needed for SNOMED CT

SNOMED is a complex ontology based code system, representing the meaning of concepts in a manner suited to computer query and analysis. SNOMED is the essence of quality little data to support clinical care and big data analysis. The use and implementation of SNOMED requires new and different skills of those used for previous healthcare classification systems. It is important that decision makers and project managers understand the skills needed for successful implementation of SNOMED in your IT product or healthcare system.

Determine workforce for SNOMED CT Implementation

this is the same as workforce skills

Requirements for safe and effective SNOMED CT implementation

Understanding the principles and operation of SNOMED is one thing – but you also need to understand what is needed to safely and effectively implement SNOMED in your product or local system. Understand the levels of implementation based upon the benefits you wish to get and the way you plan to use SNOMED and how to progress to full functionality and to be able to use all the opportunities for quality data and data analytics and clinical decision support offered by SNOMED.

Basics of SNOMED CT and maps

SNOMED CT and maps is an important area of knowledge, understand the data maps which can translate your data from one code system to another. Some of those maps come with your SNOMED license. Understand what these maps are designed to do and how to use them.

Introduction to SNOMED CT tools

SNOMED is a complex computer based code system which requires IT tools to support implementation. These tools, including terminology servers and services should be understood if you are thinking of implementing or purchasing a product which uses SNOMED. This knowledge is also relevant if you plan to upgrade or modify your current SNOMED implementation.

Governance and licensing

SNOMED is an international product with quality focused governance and legal licensing requirements each of which should be understood before you implement the code system in your system or organisation. There is also a need to understand these requirements and opportunities such as NAMESPACEs to maintain your own extensions to SNOMED.

Request SNOMED CT content additions or changes

Structure and what to expect

This course is on-line with tutor support (you don’t have to work on your own). The skills are introduced through video presentation/s and you practice through exercises. You may take assessment to confirm your skills if you choose to.

Text and Materials Provided

The materials used in this course include:

  • Learner’s guide – which acts as a text and reference as well as a guide on how to move through the course
  • Presentation – video presentation
  • Exercises – tasks for you to do to make sure you understand and give you experience in the issues covered.
  • Answers to the Exercises – answers and discussions are provided to assist your progress and understanding.
  • Chat room – you may ask questions and chat with the tutor and with other students
  • Webinars – are used in some courses to bring the community together. When these occur they are always taped and made available within the relevant course for you to view after the event. Invitations to webinars are circulated to all current students.
  • References – to other sites and documents to assist additional learning.
  • Assessment – formal assessment of your skills (similar to the exercises but assessed). This is a timed online assessment process.


Professional development certificates are provided at completion of the course. These are issued by eHealth Education ( a registered training organisation in conjunction with the Global eHealth Collaborative. If assessment is undertaken a Statement of Attainment will be provided indicating the skills achieved.