SNOMED CT, Its features

  • Is the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world, (50 Countries approx. across the world use it).
  • Is a resource with comprehensive, scientifically validated clinical content, ie all terms have a definition and verification of why it is required in SNOMED CT with a link to the clinical standards of its meaning, eg. IPU drugs requests forms.
  • Enables consistent, processable representation of clinical content in electronic health records, eg. coding system allows for data analytics. 
  • Is mapped to other international standards, for example, ICD 10.
  • 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. 

Who are the key drivers enforcing use of SNOMED CT in Ireland?

  • HIQA: Recommended SNOMED in 2014 Report. (In 2017 they became Governance Board Chair).
  • DOH: Endorsed the recommendation from HIQA and became the 2017 Governance Board Vice Chair.
  • HSE: Established National Release Centre, (NRC), in 2019, 1st release of Irish Edition of SNOMED. In 2020, the DSMP was established and Irish Reference sets. In 2021 SNOMED Strategy 2020-2023 was published. 
  • Recommended all new EHR/National EHR in Ireland to include SNOMED CT for interoperability, consistency and the other benefits of SNOMED CT. 
  • The comprehensive scope of SNOMED CT reduces the need to support multiple incompatible or overlapping code systems in the same health record system. This means SNOMED CT can become the common terminology for consistent communication, retrieval and processing across clinical specialties and between health care facilities at local, national and international levels. 

HSE Technology and Transformation SNOMED CT online browser is the preferred browser for the HSE to use. It contains the SNOMED CT International release, the Irish Clinical and Drug Extension, including reference sets.

Request for Changes

Should you make a request for a change within the SNOMED CT browser, please click here.

SNOMED Browser home

Vendors and Suppliers

All vendors and suppliers intending to go to tender for procurement for software in the Irish Technology and Transformation market need to adhere and include this specification in their tender.

Vendor specification document

Working with Snomed CT as a Vendor information can be found here

In 2018 the Irish NRC set up a vendor engagement day, details below: 

Vendor engagement day

SNOMED CT for Developers

This learning pathway consists of a collection of E-Learning resources designed for software developers. The goal is to teach you enough about SNOMED CT in as short as possible a time to enable you to develop software applications that leverage its capabilities.

 SNOMED CT for developers

Healthcare Professionals

Education and training is provided by SNOMED International through their e-learning platform.

For information on education and training for Clinicians click here there are 184 presentations, including a:

  • Foundation Course

  • Implementation Course

  • Authoring Level 1 Course

  • Authoring Level 2 Course

  • SNOMED CT for developers

  • SNOMED CT Data Analysts

Working for SNOMED CT as a Clinician; information can be found here

Licensing of SNOMED CT 

Ireland is a SNOMED International member country. The use of SNOMED is free, however a SNOMED CT affiliate licence (which is free) is required.

To apply for a licence click on this link.

SNOMED and SNOMED CT are registered trademarks of SNOMED International and was originally created by the College of American Pathologists


The benefits of using SNOMED CT in electronic care records are:

  • Vital information can be shared consistently within and across health and care settings.
  • Comprehensive coverage and greater depth of details and content for all clinical specialities and professionals.
  • It includes diagnosis and procedures, symptoms, family history, allergies, assessment tools, observations, devices.
  • Clinical decision making is supported.
  • It facilitates analysis to support more extensive clinical audit and research.
  • Reduced risk of misinterpretations of the record in different care setting.
  • SNOMED and SNOMED CT are registered trademarks of SNOMED International and was originally created by the College of American Pathologists.

SNOMED CT Management

SNOMED CT is owned, managed and licensed by SNOMED International.

The Enterprise Architecture function of Technology and Transformation in the HSE is where Irelands National Release Centre has been established. The Irish NRC is responsible and has the delegated authority to licence the SNOMED CT Irish Edition and derivatives.

SNOMED CT is maintained and distributed in Ireland by HSE Technology and Transformation. A SNOMED Governance Board has been established with representation from:

  • HIQA
  • Department of Health
  • Health and Research Board
  • Chief Clinical Officer
  • Chief Clinical Information Officer
  • GPIT
  • Health and Social Care Professionals
  • Clinical Terminology Architecture
  • Technical Architecture
  • Business Architecture
  • Information Governance
  • Information Architecture



Further Information


**This online browser is now our preferred SNOMED CT browser for the HSE to use. It contains the SNOMED CT International Release, and the Irish Extension.

SI_Member_print_Ireland        Co-funded by the European Union