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IHTSDO releases 'Data Analytics with SNOMED CT' report

May 26, 2015

IHTSDO is pleased to announce the release of the 'Data Analytics with SNOMED CT' report and accompanying case studies.

SNOMED CT is widely recognized as the leading global clinical terminology for use in Electronic Health Records (EHRs). SNOMED CT is used within EHRs to support data capture, retrieval and subsequent reuse for a wide range of purposes, from patient-based queries to operational reporting, public health reporting, strategic planning, predictive medicine and clinical research. As the SNOMED CT encoding of healthcare data increases, so too have the benefits being realized from analytics processes performed over this data.

Clinical Data Analytics is the discovery of meaningful information from healthcare data. SNOMED CT has a number of features, which makes it uniquely capable of supporting a range of powerful data analytics functions. These features enable clinical records to be queried by: grouping concepts into broader categories (at various levels of detail); using the formal meaning of the clinical information recorded; testing for membership of predefined clinical subsets; and using terms from the clinician's local dialect.

SNOMED CT also enables: clinical queries over heterogeneous data (using SNOMED CT as a common reference terminology); analysis of patient records containing no original SNOMED CT content (e.g. free text); powerful logic-based inferencing using Description Logic; linking clinical concepts recorded in a health record to clinical guidelines and clinical decision support rules; and mapping to classifications (such as ICD-10) to utilize the features that these provide.

The use of these SNOMED CT techniques can enable or enhance data analytics in three broad areas:

  1. Point-of-care analytics, which benefits individual patients and clinicians. This includes historical summaries, decision support and reporting,

  2. Population-based analytics, which benefits populations. This includes trend analysis, public health surveillance, pharmacovigilance, care delivery audits and healthcare service planning, and

  3. Clinical research, which is used to improve clinical assessment and treatment guidelines. This includes identification of clinical trial candidates, predictive medicine and semantic searching of clinical knowledge.

With this in mind, IHTSDO has developed a 'Data Analytics with SNOMED CT' report to describe current approaches, tools and techniques for performing data analytics using SNOMED CT and to share developing practice in this area. This report aims to benefit members, vendors and users of SNOMED CT by promoting a greater awareness of both what has been achieved and what can be achieved using SNOMED CT to enhance analytics services. The report is also accompanied by two appendices, in a separate 'Case Studies' document, which present a variety of related organizational projects and commercial tools. 

The 'Data Analytics with SNOMED CT' report can be found at

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