SNOMED National Release Centre (NRC)


SNOMED NRC Project Team


The SNOMED National Release Centre (NRC) held the first vendor engagement day on February 14th in Dr Steevens Hospital. The event, attended by 70 people, was set up in order to serve as an interface between SNOMED International and the national users and affiliates as well as other members. The establishment of the NRC, the responsibility of Theresa Barry in Enterprise Architecture, is part of a wider process to create awareness of SNOMED CT and its benefits.

The SNOMED International community hold bi-annual face to face meetings. In October 2017 the Member Forum representative for Ireland Theresa Barry attended these meetings in Bratislava as the Irish nominee. Nick Egharos of SNOMED International gave a presentation there on Vendor engagement and how vendors should manage SNOMED CT in their systems. As Ireland are a new country in this space and with a number of national ICT projects in the planning and design phase, Theresa requested that Nick come to Dublin to give an update to the vendor community here, following discussion with Peter Connolly Head of Enterprise Architecture in OoCIO, the plans were made to schedule this meeting in February 2018.


Vendors have a specific role as their systems need to be enabled to upload SNOMED CT as part of their requirements and manage it within their systems so that it will be available to clinicians. The NRC has also organised to engage with the Clinical Council in May 2018 and a number of other engagements with other stakeholders will be planned in the coming months.


Vendor Engagement Day 

The event was well attended and vendors overall view was that such an engagement was very beneficial and will add huge value to their offerings going forward. The speakers included delegates from HIQA, OoCIO, CCIO, Academia and SNOMED International.

The topics covered on the day included SNOMED in Ireland to date, the Enterprise Architecture team (Lilly Walsh, Business Architect, Helen Lambert Information governance, Eamon Coyne Technical Architect and Martin Tully (Information Architect) along with Pamela Hussey (DCU) gave insight into Information governance, and information exchange as well as terminologies in EHR’s and the Data Dictionary, Peter Connolly also gave an update on how SNOMED CT fits into the wider eHealth Ireland strategy.

There was also input from Brian Markey on the eperscribing project and Dan Aldridge from the Shared Care Record project. Conor O Shea from the Clinical Council gave some insight into how they might engage with SNOMED CT and the great value that will be offered to clinicians by using a standard terminology such as SNOMED.  The SNOMED International team then gave an update as to how vendors can be enabled to have SNOMED catalogues and reference sets available in their systems this will add huge value from an interoperability and standardisation of information across systems perspective, and this will give better patient outcomes in the long term. Theresa Barry gave oversight to the work completed and planned for the NRC since the license was procured, this included further engagement with the various stakeholders such as the clinical council and project managers. There is also a number of other awareness activities planned for 2018, which include webinars and further face to face meetings.


In attendance on the day were delegates from various vendors as well as HSE project managers such as those involved in MEDLIs, NIMIS, MN-CMS, St Patricks Mental Health Hospital, the shared care record team and the E.H.R programme.


In the afternoon there were round table discussions where all attendees were able to have access to the SNOMED International team in order to discuss their specific areas of interest, most attendees found this to be extremely useful and felt there was huge benefit in having access to the international team.

Benefits and Key Facts of SNOMED CT


  • Is the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world 
  • Is a resource with comprehensive, scientifically validated clinical content?
  • Enables consistent, processable representation of clinical content in electronic health records
  • Is mapped to other international standard.
  • Is already used in more than fifty countries

When implemented in software applications, SNOMED CT can be used to represent clinically relevant information consistently, reliably and comprehensively as an integral part of producing electronic health information. SNOMED CT supports the development of comprehensive high-quality clinical content in health records. It provides a standardised way to represent clinical phrases captured by the clinician and enables automatic interpretation of these. SNOMED CT is a clinically validated, semantically rich, controlled vocabulary that facilitates evolutionary growth in expressivity to meet emerging requirements. SNOMED CT. based clinical information benefits individual patients and clinicians as well as populations and it supports evidence based care. 

The use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) improves communication and increases the availability of relevant information. If clinical information is stored in ways that allow meaning-based retrieval, the benefits are greatly increased. The added benefits range from increased opportunities for real time decision support to more accurate retrospective reporting for research and management.

There are some further engagement activities planned for 2018 and there will be education and training made available in Q3 of this year.


Some images from the Day

The topics discussed on the day included

What are the roles and responsibilities going forward for Vendors?

SNOMED International will shortly be publishing a document for all project managers involved in Procurement for ICT systems, this will be shared with the teams when ready

How will project managers in OoCIO manager SNOMED in their systems?

The process of engagement has been mapped and is awaiting sign off by the Governance group

What version/edition of SNOMED will Ireland use?

Ireland will be using the International version and will release its on edition in June 2018, this will then follow with an Irish release in October and March 6 monthly

Will there be training and education for SNOMED?

Yes the NRC will post some education and training on the eHealthIreland website in the next few weeks and will create a community of SNOMED users, with further plans yet to be completed




Survey Report of SNOMED Vendor engagement day on February 14th 2018

45 surveys were completed out of an attendance of 70.

In order for the NRC to judge the level of knowledge of the stakeholder group at the SNOMED meeting and in order to plan for the level of engagement and educational requirements a questionnaire was circulated on the day, and the findings are defined here.

Q.6 What did you like most about the session?


Graph 4

Q.7 Additional educational sessions would you like to see in the future?

Graph 5


Comments on the day

“Thank you”

“Important all stakeholders are included and end users are considered”

“Very informative and really useful collaboration”

“Well organised and some great speakers”

“Interesting to see how Enterprise Architecture is working in HSE and the amount of work being done”

“Great to understand how vendors are going to be part of this journey with HSE”

“Thanks for organising, when is the next one?”