Brazil joined SNOMED International in April 2018 as a means of supporting health system transformation as a foundational element of its ehealth Strategy.
digiSUS, Brazil’s ehealth Strategy, outlines the use of information and communication technology to support the future of health care, allowing development of a different National Health System, a ‘consumer-centric’ system, where citizens will be engaged to have more control for managing their own care and that of their families. SUS, our National Health System, is the largest public healthcare system in the world, and also the most ambitious. It supports all levels of care, from primary to specialized care, and covers all procedures from prevention to transplantations, for over 200 Million people across a continental country. In such a vast system, technology can help to promote the disruptive changes the system needs to be fair, efficient and sustainable.
Brazil’s strategy calls for investment in information standards, data standards and an info-structure to create a national electronic health record. This will serve as a repository to seamlessly integrate all systems, while mandating a single data-exchange protocol to be used in all health transactions.
In order to achieve semantic interoperability, in 2011 the Ministry of Health of Brazil published a Ministerial Order mandating national EHR interoperability standards. In this order – which was submitted to public scrutiny and approved by all departments of health, Brazil defined SNOMED CT as the chosen international reference terminology to be used in clinical systems.
SNOMED CT is part of an info-structure to ensure the exchange of accurate, relevant and timely
information across all the information systems to support direct care, self-care and secondary uses of health information.