SNOMED CT-AU FAQs

For further information on SNOMED CT-AU, please see LEARN.

How can SNOMED CT-AU be used?

SNOMED CT-AU provides a standards-based foundation for the recording and exchange of clinical information to ensure continuity of care for patients across different times, settings, and providers. It can also facilitate functions such as decision support, statistical reporting, outcomes measurement, public health surveillance, health research, and cost analysis. For further information refer to LEARN.

How often are SNOMED CT-AU updates released?

SNOMED CT-AU is updated every month, incorporating the latest release of AMT and any additional content as it is developed. Feedback from stakeholders is encouraged at all points in the development process by emailing Help Centre

Can I propose any enhancements to SNOMED CT or SNOMED CT-AU?

Yes, we invite you to submit requests for the creation of additional content and modification or removal of existing content if it is incorrect. The National Clinical Terminology Service provides a request submission facility which enables you to log your requests.

How can I import and store SNOMED CT-AU in an application?

There are two general mechanisms for extracting and importing SNOMED CT-AU data:

  1. Import all of the relevant SNOMED CT-AU data into structures within the host system similar to the SNOMED CT RF2, or
  2. Export and ‘flatten’ the required data into simple list type forms and import them into the required host data structures, or
  3. Use Ontoserver to download simple type reference sets. Further information can be found in the SNOMED CT-AU Australian Technical Implementation Guide in the Document Library.
How do I maintain terms in my application when a new version of SNOMED CT-AU is released?

Each system will be different, and implementers will need to develop processes to ensure backwards compatibility between versions of SNOMED CT-AU. Updates to reference sets can be identified by the versioning system within the SNOMED CT-AU RF2 Release File Bundle and a history mechanism which enables backwards compatibility between versions. Concepts may be retired from reference sets but will never be deleted. Further information can be found in the SNOMED CT-AU Australian Technical Implementation Guide in the Document Library.

Do existing local code sets (i.e. non-SNOMED-CT) need to be mapped to implemented reference sets?

Mapping may be needed when there is migration of legacy data to use SNOMED CT-AU terminology, and when HL7 (Health Level 7) messages are generated and coded information is translated from the local terminology into SNOMED CT-AU for output transmission. Further information on mapping can be found in the SNOMED CT-AU Mapping Guidelines in the Document Library.

How do I map terms from existing systems that use different coding schemes and ensure clinical safety?

There are many potential options available to map existing codes to SNOMED CT-AU. Prior to commencing any mapping activity, it is vital to detail and understand how the data will be used. This will facilitate consistency in the mapping process, creating a reproducible map for the purpose intended. For guidance refer to the SNOMED CT-AU Reference Set Implementation Guide and the SNOMED CT-AU Mapping Guidelines in the Document Library.

Is SNOMED CT in Australia the same as in other SNOMED International member countries?

In all of the SNOMED International Member countries SNOMED CT contains the same core files. In addition, each Member country provides extension material (language reference sets, content reference sets, drug extensions, cross maps, additional documentation) for use in local implementations.

What is Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)?

LOINC® is a common language (set of identifiers, codes and names) for clinical and laboratory observations. If you think of an observation as a ‘question’ and the observation result value as an ‘answer’, LOINC codes represent the ‘question’ for a test or measurement. SNOMED CT is used in conjunction with this standard to represent the ‘answer’ to the question.

The Regenstrief Institute Inc. and SNOMED International have signed a long-term agreement to begin cooperative work linking their leading global health care terminologies LOINC, and SNOMED CT. This timely and significant agreement will help improve safety, functionality and interoperability for the rapidly growing number of clinicians who manage and exchange health data with electronic medical records.

For more information please visit the SNOMED International website.