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SNOMED International and IHE forge inaugural agreement jointly supporting optimal patient care

April 5, 2019

London, United Kingdom, April 5, 2019 -- Today, IHE International and SNOMED International formally announce a license agreement encouraging data consistency and interoperability across international boundaries, with benefits for clinical care, research and operational efficiency. An organization geared at improving the way computer systems in healthcare share information, IHE’s commitment to working with SNOMED International as the global leader in healthcare terminology promotes the coordinated use of established standards in support of optimal patient care.

Through this agreement, the organizations have agreed on the production of a SNOMED CT IHE Set which includes a jointly decided upon set of SNOMED CT concepts and identifiers within IHE profiles.  By placing the SNOMED CT codes referenced in IHE profiles under a free international license, the current agreement reduces incentives for national groups to specify variant code sets based on other terminologies.

The SNOMED CT value sets specified in IHE profiles are selected to ensure data consistency and interoperability in support of a variety of clinical use cases.  IHE profiles are developed in eleven active clinical and operational domains.  SNOMED CT value sets referenced in these profiles are typically used to bind coded values to content in structured documents, discrete data elements and metadata.  Approximately 30 IHE profiles reference SNOMED CT value sets as of the date of this agreement.

Over the course of the 5 year agreement, the SNOMED CT IHE Set will be updated officially annually, taking into account updates to the IHE profiles which are performed annually in each IHE domain. Thirty-seven profiles within 6 domains currently fall within the scope of the agreement.  Phast-Services, based in Paris, France, will serve as experts on behalf of IHE to maintain the SNOMED CT IHE Set.

”For 20 years, IHE has pursued collaboration to advance standards-based interoperability in health information technology,” said Michael, McCoy, MD, Co-chair of the IHE International Board. “This agreement with SNOMED International marks a significant milestone toward making standards more accessible and usable.”

From SNOMED International, “we are excited and encouraged to embark on this license agreement with IHE International”, said Don Sweete, the organization’s CEO. “Cooperation and accord among the world’s health standards organizations has never been more critical. The like-mindedness of our two organizations in aspiring to enable the clear exchange of information clearly supports the validity of our agreement to work together.”

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