In November 2018 Finland became a Member, joining a global effort to develop, maintain, and enable the use of SNOMED CT in health systems around the world.
Finland will leverage SNOMED CT’s structured clinical vocabulary to structure its Kanta Service and realize improvements in how clinical data is recorded, analyzed and reported on for the benefit of patient care. Finland’s commitment to SNOMED CT sets a foundation for clinical data to be exchanged accurately and consistently across Finnish health and social care settings, further extending the reach of structured clinical terminology throughout the European region.
To make best use of SNOMED CT with available resources, Finland has chosen not to translate the whole terminology. Instead, the aim is to focus on two national reference sets that meet local needs in areas where there is international experience and models showing implementation success. The first target is an obvious one: standardizing the terminology and codes for anatomic pathology in the clinical laboratories. Finnish pathology laboratories have used SNOMED 2 since 1980’s. But lack of coordination eventually resulted in several dialects and variance between hospitals. Now the ongoing project aims at national reference set to help the biobanks, regional and national quality registers and structured reporting on individual patient basis.
The other chosen application for SNOMED CT is patient problem list. Finland decided to use CORE Problem List as foundation for the local effort. CORE Problem List originated from a respectable group of medical institutions in the U.S. and is maintained by the National Medical Library thus making the acceptance of the reference set by clinicians so much easier. The ongoing project translates terminology into Finnish and when finished will cover terms for both professionals and patients.
Finland's aim is to have these first two applications ready at the first half of 2020. SNOMED CT National Release Center will gradually take off during 2019 and 2020 to meet the needs for services and support during SNOMED CT local implementations. SNOMED CT NRC will be essential part of THL Code Service.
National Institute for Health and Welfare
P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland
Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki (reception in building A)
General Assembly: JuhA Mykkänen
Member Forum: Jonna Salonen, Mikko Härkönen