Systematized Nomenclature of Human and Veterinary Medicine (SNOMED) International:
SNOMED® International is recognized throughout the world as a comprehensive, multiaxial nomenclature classification system created for the indexing of the entire medical vocabulary, including symptoms, diagnoses, and procedures. Its design provides the framework for representing the activities, observations, and diagnoses found in the medical record and coding them into a computer-processable form. The structure of SNOMED® International, together with its ability to index and retrieve comprehensive patient information, makes this system a strong candidate for the standard vocabulary and data model that is essential for the computer-based patient record.
SNOMED® International is owned and managed by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The CAP is a national medical specialty society serving more than 15,000 physician members and the laboratory community in the United States and internationally. College fellows elect a 12-member Board of Governors and three officers who serve as the governing body. Supporting the Board of Governors are a hierarchy of Councils, Commissions and Committees. These groups develop and oversee College and projects and programs. Administrative support and overall coordination and implementation of College programs is provided by staff located at the CAP Headquarters office in Northfield, Illinois.
The Council on Practice and Education is responsible for the operation of several CAP committees including the SNOMED® Editorial Board (SEB). Through the work of the SNOMED® Editorial Board chaired by College member, Roger A. Cote, MD, new terms and codes are continuously added to the SNOMED® vocabulary, with at least two updates provided annually. Via relationships with other medical specialty societies, the SEB is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of the SNOMED® vocabulary.
SNOMED® International is not a standard. It is a registered trademark owned and copyrighted by the College of American Pathologists. As an organization, the CAP is not directly involved in standards development.
Contact For More Information:
SNOMED Program Manager
College of American Pathologists
325 Waukegan Road
Northfield, IL 60093
SNOMED® International is a comprehensive, multiaxial nomenclature classification system created for the indexing of the entire medical vocabulary, including signs and symptoms, diagnoses, and procedures. Introduced in September 1993 and traceable to its roots in the early 1960s as the Systematized Nomenclature of Pathology (SNOP), SNOMED® is being rapidly accepted worldwide as the standard for indexing medical record information. It has been translated from English into 12 other languages. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Dental Association have recognized SNOMED®'s strength as a comprehensive nomenclature and have endorsed its use. In addition, the American College of Radiology/National Equipment Manufacturers Association will be using a subset of SNOMED® in their Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine standard (DICOM).
Of the major factors required for successful computer-based patient record development, a common medical vocabulary for use in records and standards for integrating multiple and disparate sources of information are critical elements. The eleven modules of the current version of SNOMED® contain more than 144,000 terms and term codes, with new updates provided to SNOMED® users at least twice per year. Many electronic records proponents are concluding that SNOMED® International offers the best prospects for a standardized vocabulary.
SNOMED® International is available in the following print and electronic formats: four-volume hard-bound printed set electronic version on CD-ROM in a tab-delimited ASCII format
In addition, the following information systems vendors are licensed to distribute SNOMED® International:
Citation Computer Systems
Collaborative Medical Systems
Computer Trust Corp.
Dynamic Healthcare Tech, Inc.
Galen Group, Ltd.
Health Data Science Corp.
Laboratory Consulting, Inc.
Science Applications Int'l Corp.
Sunquest Information Systems
Univ. Of Alabama at Birmingham
Indicator of Market Acceptance
SNOMED® International is widely used and distributed throughout the United States and worldwide. SNOMED® International was ranked on top in a study conducted by the Computer-based Patient Record Institute (CPRI) which evaluated all available coding systems for their ability to be used as a common medical terminology.
SNOMED® International has been translated into Greek, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovakian, and Spanish.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Dental Association have recognized SNOMED®'s strength as a comprehensive nomenclature and have endorsed its use. In addition, the American College of Radiology/National Equipment Manufacturers Association will be using a subset of SNOMED® in their Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine standard (DICOM).
Level of Specificity
SNOMED® International is a detailed coded nomenclature and classification of preferred medical terms and concepts, consisting of more than 144,000 terms and term codes divided into eleven linked hierarchical modules: Topography; Morphology; Function; Living Organisms; Chemicals, Drugs, and Biological Products; Physical Agents, Activities and Forces; Social Context; Diseases/Diagnoses; Procedures; and general Linkage Modifiers
SNOMED® International is available to individuals for a single fee.
In addition, licenses are granted to distribute SNOMED® International for commercial or institutional use. Licensing fees are determined by the number of users per site, and are renewed annually