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Third annual GPS release offers more content and greater utility than ever

September 30, 2021

The third annual Global Patient Set (GPS), a managed collection of existing SNOMED CT reference sets released by SNOMED International, is now available. The release, which continues to grow in breadth, depth and utility, includes unique identifiers, fully specified names (FSN), preferred terms in international English and active/inactive status flags. 

Designed to support cross border interoperability and enhanced digital maturity, the GPS offers clinical content across dentistry, renal, family & general practice and nursing areas, and includes IHE, DICOM and HL7 International Patient Summary (IPS) domains and activities. The IPS is a minimal and non-exhaustive patient summary dataset containing essential healthcare information for use in unscheduled, cross-border, local, regional and other care scenarios. 

Inclusion of the IPS in the GPS demonstrates SNOMED International’s support for the G7 June 2021 communique on digital health, which commits to pursuing cross-border interoperability principles and goals via the IPS and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP), a collaboration of governments and territories, government agencies and the World Health Organization, formed to support the effective implementation of digital health services.

Available at no cost and offered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License, the GPS has been downloaded approximately 900 times in countries -- almost double the number since last year’s release.

Included in this release

This year’s GPS includes all the COVID-19 and vaccine related SNOMED CT content currently available in the July 2021 SNOMED CT International Edition, including an updated SNOMED CT to ICD-10 map. 

Significant changes to this year’s release include technical updates such as the introduction of new files, and the inactivation in the GPS RF2 Refset of approximately 3,000 concepts in the organism hierarchy related to various breeds (content that is restricted to the veterinary domain), which is content that had been inactivated from the International Edition of SNOMED CT.

Not included in the GPS

Although nothing has been removed from this year’s release, the GPS does not include SNOMED CT’s inherent relationships and hierarchies fundamental to the nature of an ontology and its ability to enable capabilities such as clinical data analytics and decision support, nor concept synonyms and definitions, which are included in the International Edition of SNOMED CT.

Why use the GPS

The GPS can serve as a stepping stone for countries considering full implementation of SNOMED CT, without requiring an initial investment. It also supports citizen movement across borders, backed by a foundation of structured patient information.

Access the GPS and additional resources

To access the GPS, visit SNOMED International’s GPS information page and register your use.

Additional resources including use cases, and implementation guidance are also located on the GPS information page.

GPS users (those that have downloaded the GPS in the past three years) will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the usefulness and future of the GPS with a survey the organization will issue in two weeks.

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