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The case for investment: SNOMED CT

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Experience the Value of SNOMED CT

In 2020, SNOMED International released its 2020-2025 Strategy and identified the need to revisit the value proposition for key stakeholder groups as well as illustrating the case for investment in SNOMED CT for Nations, health systems, vendors, etc., globally. The product of this analysis is shared here.

The benefits

SNOMED CT based clinical information benefits individual patients and clinicians as well as populations while supporting evidence-based care.

Electronic health records

The use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) improves communication and increases the availability of relevant and critical clinical information. When clinical information is stored in a way that allows meaning-based retrieval, the benefits are greatly increased.
These benefits range from increased opportunities for real time decision support to more accurate retrospective reporting for research, data analytics, precision medicine and management.

Benefits to individuals

SNOMED CT enabled clinical health records benefit individuals by:
  • Enabling clinical information to be recorded consistently
  • Enabling support systems to check the record and provide real-time advice
  • Supporting the sharing of appropriate information with others involved in delivering care, allowing the understanding of the information in a common way by all providers
  • Allowing accurate and comprehensive analysis that identify patients who require follow-up or changes of treatment
  • Removing language barriers – SNOMED CT enables multilingual use

Benefits to populations

SNOMED CT enabled clinical health records benefit populations by:
  • Facilitating early identification of emerging health issues, monitoring of population health and agile response to changing clinical practices
  • Enabling accurate access to relevant information, reducing costly duplications and errors
  • Enabling the delivery of relevant data to support clinical research and contribute evidence for future improvements in treatment
  • Enhancing audits of care delivery with options for detailed analysis of clinical records to investigate outliers and exceptions

Evidence-based healthcare

SNOMED CT enabled health records inform evidence-based health care decisions by:
  • Enabling links between clinical records and clinical guidelines
  • Enhancing the quality of care
  • Reducing costs of duplicative testing and treatment
  • Limiting the frequency and impact of adverse healthcare
  • Raising the cost-effectiveness and quality of care

SNOMED CT Value Series

The SNOMED CT Value Series profiles real world, first person accounts of how SNOMED CT has been implemented in global health systems, and the value it has delivered.

The first chapter of the Value Series outlines the implementation journey of the Canterbury District Health Board in New Zealand, highlighting how SNOMED CT has supported its current and future success.

Chapter 1: Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand

The business case

Membership and national use of SNOMED CT offers a number of advantages:
  • Reductions in inappropriate or duplicate clinical testing
  • Reduction in adverse drug events
  • Improved management of key disease groups, such as cardiac care and oncology; and,
  • Cost savings in terminology development, licensing fees, and transcription costs of mapping to ICD or other coding systems.
Review the “business case for SNOMED CT summary” to learn more about these benefits and how to build your own business case for sustaining and expanding investments in SNOMED CT to drive health system improvements.

A quality approach

Maintaining the quality of SNOMED CT is of core importance and rigorously undertaken by the organization on an ongoing basis. We ensure a quality approach though:  
  • Expert personnel: Experienced authors, clinical backgrounds, across varied domains  
  • Guidance and training: Editorial and mapping guidelines, customer guidance
  • Process: Automated rules validation, pattern evaluation
  • Collaboration: Alignment with standards, SME groups, stakeholders
SNOMED International engages in processes to undertake a broader examination across all hierarchies. Through our Quality Initiative (QI), we adopt a greater focus on correcting structural anomalies as well as modification of content, resulting in a higher level of clinical accuracy.


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