Snapper software available for adoption of SNOMED CT

This article first appeared in the February 2013 edition of Pulse+IT Magazine.

The CSIRO’s award-winning software tool, Snapper, is currently available as a free download to aid in the transition from legacy health terminologies to SNOMED CT.

The transition from legacy health terminologies to SNOMED CT is necessary since Australia is standardising on SNOMED CT as the preferred clinical terminology for use in electronic health and medical records, including PCEHR-compliant systems.

Existing electronic systems and the legacy terminologies and vocabularies they contain represent a substantial investment in health information collections in Australia.

Faced with the requirement to provide SNOMED CT coded data, vendors and health information managers can either convert systems to use SNOMED CT or convert the collected data to SNOMED CT in a post-processing step. In both cases an accurate map from the existing terminology to SNOMED CT is essential.

To aid the health IT community in the transition, the National eHealth Transition Authority (NEHTA) has licensed the Snapper SNOMED CT mapping tool, developed at the Australian e-Health Research Centre, for all public and private companies in Australia.

The Snapper software is based on the CSIRO Snorocket classifier that is used to maintain SNOMED CT itself. Snapper makes the structure of SNOMED CT and the meaning of its concepts transparent, thus providing a user-friendly interface for creating mappings from an existing term-set to concepts in the SNOMED CT terminology.

The use of Snapper empowers users themselves to transition to SNOMED CT, adopt this standard clinical terminology, and preserve the value of their existing health information collections. In recognition of its significance, Snapper was the 2012 winner of the E-Health category of the Queensland iAwards.

To read the full story, see the February issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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