As 2020 winds to a close, it’s safe to say that this has been a year like no other in recent memory. Like you, all of us at SNOMED International have experienced the loss of everyday life as we know it and the global health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am thankful that SNOMED International has found a way to collaborate with our Members, partners and community of practice to contribute to the heroic efforts of scientists, researchers and clinicians to diagnose, treat and contain the coronavirus. We acted quickly early in the year to update SNOMED CT with COVID-19 content, enabling real-time use by stakeholders during the pandemic, and made this content freely available in the Global Patient Set. We are an organization that strongly supports collaboration. In this spirit, we participated in the COVID-19 Interoperability Alliance and the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, both of which offer resources for clinical, demographic and administrative concept use relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A growing community driven by strategy
On a positive note, we kicked off our 2020-2025 Strategy in January, laying the foundation for many product enhancements and innovations. We also welcomed the Republic of Korea to the SNOMED International family, and expect to have additional new Members to announce in early 2021.
As an organization, we also mourned the passing of our Management Board Chair, Lady Barbara Judge CBE, whose positive impact will live on forever, even as we continue to miss her energetic presence, and welcomed new Members of our Management Board to guide us through the subsequent years of our Strategy.
Another achievement I am proud of this year is our commitment to enhancing SNOMED CT’s content to meet evolving global needs. Social determinants of health content coverage within SNOMED CT is a perfect example of this. Initiated this year with a project slated to wrap up in 2022, we expect it will enable a much broader and more holistic view of not just individuals but entire populations.
We always seek to strengthen our collaborations and this year marked a number of partnership-related successes. This August, we announced a groundbreaking agreement with the International Council of Nurses providing for the International Classification for Nursing Practice to be managed, produced, released and distributed by SNOMED International. We also teamed up with the American Medical Association to demonstrate how the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) and SNOMED CT work together to deliver better outcomes and enhanced resource utilization throughout the health ecosystem.
A virtual SNOMED CT Expo
Making the call to substitute the in-person annual SNOMED CT conference with an entirely virtual event was tough, but it was the right thing to do to keep everyone safe. Judging from the record number of registrants and the overwhelmingly positive feedback, it appears those who attended found it engaging, interesting and useful. If you missed the conference, the virtual platform is available until early January and you can access it here.
Another key activity from 2020 is the launch of our SNOMED CT Value Series, which debuted at the virtual Expo. The first chapter features the New Zealand Canterbury District Health Board. You can view the videos in the virtual Expo platform or on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned in 2021 for more great examples of how health care organizations around the globe are using SNOMED CT to drive benefits for their patients/citizens and their health care systems.
As 2020 draws to a close, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of all of this work and progress, whether you attended one of our webinars, contributed to SNOMED CT content development, worked with us as a partner, joined as a Member country or participated in any other way. I would like to offer a special thank you to the Board and our Members for their continuing support along with the staff who worked tirelessly all year. We look forward to announcing more achievements on our five-year strategy in 2021 and we hope you will continue to be a part of our big global family!
In closing I wish everyone a fun, festive and safe holiday season.
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