SNOMED Diagnosis Code Update: July 2013

Professor Jonathan L Brown

In the October 2012 eNewsletter the Society was seeking the help of members to assist with the development of a SNOMED subset to allow the diagnosis field of a gastroenterology or hepatology electronic patient record to be populated. The request derived from the DH Informatics Directorate, Connecting for Health (CfH). In March 2013, CfH was superseded by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and the project continues under their authority.

In the medical subspecialties, paediatrics, renal, rheumatology, respiratory and gastroenterology/hepatology have succeeded in creating a pilot data set and the next objective will be a phase of clinical evaluation. HSCIC is considering technical options for this and it is likely that volunteers will again be required. The BSG pilot data can be viewed below and was derived from the large Swansea database of clinical diagnosis fields combined with the C&B gastroenterology referral library and the Society list of exit examination conditions.

Nikki Simmonds and Jonathan Brown, assisted by a CfH terminologist, merged and contracted the data sets, removed redundancy and validated the SNOMED terms, The scope of the project was to allow a diagnosis field to be populated in 80% of outpatient consultations from a list of about 150 terms and not to produce an exhaustive list of all GI conditions. After evaluation it will become the preferred list of diagnoses for NHS messaging systems and our Society will need to consider a method for maintenance, development and ratification of new terms as clinical gastroenterology and electronic patient records continue to evolve. To this end, the other medical subspecialties have created information committees like the one we have just disbanded and so we will need to devise an alternative strategy if we are to keep up.