SNOMED International and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health and Prevention are pleased to announce that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become SNOMED International’s 41st Member.
The UAE is the fourth Middle East country, following Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to join SNOMED International, further extending the SNOMED CT use, implementation experience and collaboration opportunities for the region. Effective as of May 2021, UAE users can register to request a free license for use of SNOMED CT by visiting the country’s National Release Center website. In addition to the many benefits the country can realize through implementing SNOMED CT, its use will also support the UAE in achieving its 2017-2021 strategic healthcare objectives and beyond.
In a recent Healthcare IT News article, Ali Al Ajmi, the UAE’s Director of Digital Health at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, indicated that the use of SNOMED CT will improve functionality and coordination between health facilities and contribute to enhancing the exchange of organizational data among the country’s health-related organizations in both the public and private sectors, including insurance companies, healthcare providers and governmental organizations.
In the article, Al Ajmi added: “The electronically stored detailed data in this system would help increase access of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies across the UAE to electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs).”
The benefits of becoming a Member
Joining SNOMED International provides the country’s healthcare institutions and organizations no-cost access to SNOMED CT, the world’s most comprehensive clinical terminology and a recognized critical element for the electronic exchange of health data. Use of SNOMED CT provides distinct benefits for the country’s spectrum of stakeholder groups, ranging from policy-makers to researchers and knowledge producers, implementers, vendors, care providers and patients/citizens. It enables Members to ensure that high-quality clinical information is available to all stakeholders in their country, and supports policy-makers by enabling them to make more informed policy and management decisions.
SNOMED International CEO Don Sweete extended a warm welcome to the United Arab Emirates. “In line with the United Arab Emirate’s health strategy, the addition of SNOMED CT will help strengthen the implementation of effective health information systems through global standards,” he said. Mr. Sweete went on to say, “As the SNOMED CT footprint in the Middle East grows, the greater the opportunity for sharing region-specific lessons learned, and the greater the potential for collaboration.”
Founded in 2007 by nine charter nations, SNOMED International is a not-for-profit organization that owns and maintains SNOMED CT, the world’s most comprehensive clinical terminology. With over 350,000 concepts, SNOMED CT is not just a coding system of diagnosis. It also covers clinical findings like signs and symptoms and tens of thousands of surgical, therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. Also within the scope of SNOMED CT are observables and those concepts representing body structures, organisms, substances, pharmaceutical products, physical objects, physical forces, specimens, etc. needed to be recorded in or around the health record.
With SNOMED CT, users can record patient data more accurately, and exchange patient data both within the healthcare team and with patients, both locally and across borders, to improve patient outcomes.
Further, SNOMED CT can be used in health data and analytics platforms for clinical analytics, population analytics, management analytics, clinical research, applied research, and other research activities to improve health care.