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Austria introduces nationwide standard of clinical terminology with membership in SNOMED International

March 6, 2019

London, United Kingdom, March 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Austria through ELGA GmbH, “elektronische Gesundheitsakte”, and SNOMED International jointly announce the addition of Austria as the organization’s thirty-seventh Member.

With its continued development, Austria’s ELGA electronic health record system enables all eligible users including citizens, patients, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc. to gain access to healthcare information. When it comes to establishing and operating a nationwide personal health record, effective and efficient terminology management including the development, administration, maintenance and publishing of clinical terminology is truly a precondition to achieving semantic interoperability. Further, within the European region, the promise of cross-border care and clinical information mobility is believed to be the single most important revolution in healthcare. The role that structured data plays in supporting this vision is critical.

SNOMED CT is the world’s most comprehensive and precise health terminology. Founded in 2007 by nine charter nations, SNOMED International is a not-for-profit, member-owned and driven international organization. “SNOMED CT is a core element in building a platform for accurate clinical information exchange and data analysis” states SNOMED International’s CEO, Don Sweete. “We welcome Austria’s membership in the organization and look forward to a future where SNOMED CT’s structured terminology supports the goal of a clinically networked nation for Austria.

”The ELGA GmbH program has been in place since 2009 and is financed by the Austrian Republic, Austria’s 9 Federal States and the Social Insurance Group. Mandated with managing the technical and organizational implementation of its national electronic health record, ELGA recognizes that semantic interoperability within a nationwide electronic patient record can only be achieved by providing standardized terminologies. In order to appropriately address clinical documentation, a plethora of special terms, abbreviations and codes, organized in systems like nomenclatures and classifications is a prerequisite.

Dr. Stefan Sabutsch, Head of the SNOMED Release Center Austria and Executive Lead Standards & Usability at ELGA GmbH, emphasizes: "With the introduction of SNOMED CT in Austria, we have taken a further important step in in the field of information and communication technologies in the healthcare sector. Confessing to a nationwide standard of clinical terminology as an integrative part of the Austrian Health Record ELGA shows clearly that the responsible people in the country are absolutely committed to the importance of semantic interoperability.” Sabutsch adds "a clinically validated terminology such as SNOMED CT has great relevance to the Austrian healthcare system and will play a key role in improving the efficiency and quality of the existing healthcare system and benefiting the patients."

Austria becomes the 24th Member from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to join SNOMED International, laying the groundwork for increased interoperability across the region. SNOMED CT becomes part of Austria’s national infrastructure as a contributor ensuring the exchange of accurate, relevant and timely information across needed ELGA provider and consumer health information systems.

Click here to learn more about Austria’s membership in SNOMED International.

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