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Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT)

Systematized NOmenclature of MEDicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT®) is the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world. It is an internationally recognized terminology standard to capture, retrieve, aggregate and share relevant clinical information across health care settings and providers in a consistent, safe and reliable manner. 

SNOMED CT International contains more than 300,000 active concepts with unique meanings, ranging from diagnoses and therapies, to medications, results and orders. Each concept is linked to multiple descriptions, which allows clinicians to express a clinical concept in a way they would prefer without losing the intended meaning. SNOMED CT is designed and maintained by SNOMED International to allow the International Edition to be enhanced by adding content that meets national requirements. Infoway is developing and maintaining a Canadian Extension which encompasses English and French components.

SNOMED CT                                                                                     CAS *


The following clinical information groups have been approved as CAS:

  • Diagnosis                               
  • Family history
  • Genetic condition
  • Non-drug agent adverse reaction
  • Non-drug offending agent type
  • Non-drug offending agent description risk factor
  • Risk factor
  • Clinical findings (health of symptom problem)
  • Physical assessment findings
  • Anatomical site
  • Patient health problem

Note that Infoway has developed subsets that cover many of the above. 

  • Increased access to standardized patient clinical data can improve the care delivery at the point of service
  • Complete, clear, precise data can improve patient safety
  • Improves productivity by enabling the efficient search of patient records and retrieval of relevant patient information
  • Unlike other terminologies and classification systems (ICD 9 and ICD 10), captures and retrieves data at a level of detail that can be used not only to inform clinical decisions, but also for decision support,  reporting, performance management and research


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* Status Definitions

Canadian Draft for Use (CDFU) - The standard has been developed but it may or may not be implemented or be in use. The standard is considered ready to be used by early adopters: however, change is probable as stakeholders begin using the standard in implementations.

Canadian Approved Standards (CAS) - The standard is in use for the purpose(s) or context(s) for which it was intended. Only those parts of the standard that have been implemented or are in use can progress for consideration as CAS. This decision point signifies that the standard has reached a level of stability and is comprehensive enough such that major changes are not expected.

IHTSDO®, SNOMED CT®, HL7®, ISO®, DICOM® and LOINC® are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective organizations and should be considered as such. All rights are reserved by the governing organization.

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Standards Access

To access licensed international and national health information standards (e.g. SNOMED CT), simply login to your Infoway Account and accept the terms of user and license agreements annually. Fees are only collected for access and use of HL7 International materials.

All SNOMED CT, LOINC and Infoway software tools are available at no cost to users with an active Infoway account.

Find out more about Standards Access.

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