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IPU contributes to international healthcare terminology database

By Irish Pharmacist - 29th Jul 2020

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has made a major contribution to the leading international (database of) healthcare terminology by identifying a series of concepts that are not currently included in SNOMED CT. SNOMED CT is a language for health terminology that is recognised as the most comprehensive set of healthcare terms in the world and facilitates clinicians and other healthcare professionals to record patient data more accurately and comprehensively, as it provides a standardised set of clinical terms for use across more than 80 countries. 

After establishing a close working relationship with the Irish SNOMED National Release Centre (NRC), the IPU’s Product File Department identified a series of concepts that are not currently included in SNOMED CT, and these have now been coded and launched as part of SNOMED’s July update. 

IPU Product File Manager Ms Fiona Hannigan said: “Having common healthcare terminology allows for the exchange of healthcare information globally in a way that is safe and accurate, which allows healthcare providers and policy-makers around the world to make informed decisions that improve health systems.

“The need to be able to interrogate health information and make informed decisions based on the experiences of our partners in other countries has come to the fore as we have dealt with the Covid-19 outbreak in recent months. The IPU’s Product File Department has been proud to make a contribution to this important global (database of) terminology. We are equally proud of collegial collaboration with the Irish SNOMED NRC.”

Ms Theresa Barry, Irish NRC manager working with the HSE in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, said: “Contributing to the drug catalogue into the International edition of SNOMED is welcomed by healthcare professionals globally, as SNOMED content is an iterative process and is in constant development. Working with the IPU has been a combined process and addressing the gap in the current SNOMED CT files has been welcomed internationally.”

Ms Hannigan concluded: “We are delighted to contribute to the development of SNOMED CT, and we are honoured that healthcare professionals using SNOMED CT around the world will now be adopting clinical terms developed by the Irish Pharmacy Union. This piece of work has been a considerable investment by the IPU, but we believe it is of huge benefit, both in Ireland and internationally to clinicians and healthcare workers, and healthcare systems around the world.”

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