The attendance at the Vancouver conference was excellent – seemingly even greater than previous years, which contributed towards an atmosphere of heightened expectation, with people anticipating many different matters could be progressed throughout the week.
The Terminology Release Advisory Group meetings were excellent as always, with strong contributions from both members and observers. This resulted in the resolution of almost all issues, with the others only remaining outstanding due to being long term items requiring further input from other sources.
The other Advisory Group sessions that I attended were equally productive, with all parties working together well to further the aims of SNOMED International, especially those of quality and interoperability.
The only real issue that I experienced was similar to previous years, where some discussions happened at different times across different forums, leading in some cases to slightly different decisions being made. This has always been a very difficult issue to address without getting every single attendee in the same room at the same time to discuss cross-AG issues (which is obviously not practicable!). I’m hoping that this is something that we can discuss and improve at the next all-staff meeting in 2019.
It was especially nice to see some presentations of real-world usage at the Expo, demonstrating to everyone that SNOMED CT has now made the transition from theoretically desirable to being firmly embedded in many countries’ implementations.
But my favourite impression from the conference and the Expo was that of our numerous stakeholders having finally become a real community with everyone working towards shared goals for the enrichment of healthcare worldwide.