SNOMED CT clinical coding standard transferred to new international
4 May 2007
Northfield, Ill., USA. SNOMED Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT),
the UK-US developed standard for clinical terminology, has been acquired by
the newly formed International Health Terminology Standards Development
The new organization, which is also known as SNOMED
SDO, has acquired the intellectual property rights of SNOMED Clinical Terms
(SNOMED CT) and its antecedents from the College of American Pathologists
(CAP) for $7.8 million.
The new international organization is assuming
responsibility for the ongoing maintenance, development, quality assurance,
and distribution of SNOMED CT. The CAP will continue to support SDO
operations under an initial 3-year contract and will continue to provide
SNOMED-related products and services as a licensee of the terminology.
When implemented in software applications, SNOMED CT can be used to
represent clinically relevant information consistently worldwide as an
integral part of producing standardized electronic health records. With a
history dating back to 1965, SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of
Medicine Clinical Terms) is considered to be the most comprehensive,
multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world.
delighted with the initial success of this truly international undertaking,"
said Professor Martin Severs, IHTSDO Management Board chair. "Making SNOMED
CT available this way is an example of how global health cooperation can
benefit health systems, services, and products around the world."
international adoption and use of SNOMED CT has grown, it has become
apparent that an international governance structure that is open to the
entire global healthcare community would be to everyone's benefit," said
Thomas Sodeman, MD, FCAP, president of the College of American Pathologists.
"The College is proud to have assisted in this important milestone."
SNOMED CT was formed in 1999 by the convergence of SNOMED Reference
Terminology (SNOMED RT), developed by CAP in the US, and Clinical Terms
Version 3 (formerly known as the Read Codes), which was developed by the UK
National Health Service. Use of SNOMED CT can support more effective and
efficient health care and prevention within individual countries while also
supporting enhanced international public health and research activities.
The IHTSDO is registered as a not-for-profit association within Denmark. Its
Charter Members are organizations representing Australia, Canada, Denmark,
Lithuania, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the
Membership is open to all countries, and there is a
provision for sponsored use in developing countries. The IHTSDO will
establish formal harmonization activities with other organizations,
including the World Health Organization (WHO), to promote effective
interoperability between SNOMED CT and other health data standards.
A description of IHTSDO's principles and objectives, open and
participatory governance process, and uniform licensing terms is at