SNOMED CT was recently introduced in Germany as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII), a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). A three-year “pilot phase” was launched in mid-March (press release of the BMBF). The “pilot licence” is initially limited to participants and project partners of MII. The BMBF will pay the licence fees. During the “pilot phase” the TMF - Technology, Methods and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research serves as the National Release Centre (German National Release Centre website).
The MII was created to close the gap between research and healthcare. All of Germany’s university hospitals have joined forces with research institutions, businesses, health insurers, and patient advocacy groups to create a framework that harnesses research findings to the direct benefit of patients. The aim of the MII is to enhance research and patient care through the sharing and use of data from healthcare and from clinical and biomedical research – across multiple entities and sites, while ensuring robust data protection and security. Against this background SNOMED CT is to be used as an overall reference terminology to enable interoperability and multi-site data sharing.
After the press conference, the NRC was set up together with SNOMED International. The application process was defined and communicated, as well as first trainings were initiated. The first SNOMED-CT license was already granted on 25 March (TMF-News). Since then, more than 40 organizations have received a license.
Following this successful start, the next stage is now looming on the horizon: the German Federal Ministry of Health has announced in a draft law that it will acquire national membership in order to establish a continuation of the use of SNOMED CT for the healthcare sector.
More updates will be available on a regular basis.
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