This week the focus has been on getting reference terms populated into the database by uploading a SNOMED file.
Here is some information about SNOMED (taken from wikipedia):
SNOMED CT[a] or SNOMED Clinical Terms is a systematically organized computer processable collection of medical terms providing codes, terms, synonyms and definitions used in clinical documentation and reporting. SNOMED CT is considered to be the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world.[non-primary source needed] The primary purpose of SNOMED CT is to encode the meanings that are used in health information and to support the effective clinical recording of data with the aim of improving patient care. SNOMED CT provides the core general terminology for electronic health records. SNOMED CT comprehensive coverage includes: clinical findings, symptoms, diagnoses, procedures, body structures, organisms and other etiologies, substances, pharmaceuticals, devices and specimen.
SNOMED CT provides for consistent information interchange and is fundamental to an interoperable electronic health record. It allows a consistent way to index, store, retrieve, and aggregate clinical data across specialties and sites of care. It also helps in organizing the content of electronic health records systems by reducing the variability in the way data is captured, encoded and used for clinical care of patients and research. SNOMED CT can be used to record clinical details of individuals in the electronic patient records. It also provides the user with a number of linkages to clinical care pathways, shared care plans and other knowledge resources, in order to facilitate informed decision-making and support long term patient care. The availability of free automatic coding tools and services, which can return a ranked list of SNOMED CT descriptors to encode any clinical report, could help healthcare professionals to navigate the terminology.
SNOMED CT is a terminology that can cross-map to other international standards and classifications. Specific language editions are available which augment the international edition and can contain language translations, as well as additional national terms. For example, SNOMED CT-AU, released in December 2009 in Australia, is based on the international version of SNOMED CT, but encompasses words and ideas that are clinically and technically unique to Australia.
We will be using the information from the SNOMED REF2 release to populate our reference term table preparing for the ability to get the hierarchy information later on in the project.