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The potential of SNOMED CT to improve patient care

Dr Andy Spencer, National Clinical Lead for Hospital Specialties, The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) spoke at today’s Data Quality and Clinical Coding for Improvement conference on:


• History of SNOMED CT
• Development of Specialist Subsets (Report on pilot work)
• Benefits of SNOMED CT for patient care
• Progress on implementation

Andy gave a detailed overview of SNOMED CT which the NHS is signed up to and which allows clinicians to collect data using familiar language.  It allows for information to be collected continuously at the point of care, for clinicians to record clinical information at the bedside in a consistent way.  It's logical structure ensures accurate data analysis at the back end.  Andy said; "our aim is to improve decision making and deliver better care."  In his conclusion Andy said migration to the whole NHS will be completed by 2020, he said Electronic Patient Records are the future; consistent language is essential for data to be used for quality improvement; SNOMED CT is a key resource to achieve this and it needs professional involvement at every stage of development.

Abstract of Dr Spencer’s presentation

The Potential of SNOMED CT to improve patient Care

SNOMED CT as a terminology that will enable the electronic capture of accurate clinical information at the point of care is described and placed in historical context. A pilot study is described which demonstrates both the feasibility and the benefits of data capture using SNOMED. The potential of SNOMED CT for quality improvement is illustrated and the next steps towards implementation is described.

Dr Spencer’s full PowerPoint presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

About Dr Andy Spencer
I qualified from Nottingham in 1976 and was appointed as a consultant paediatrician/neonatologist in North Staffordshire in 1983 and retired from clinical practice in 2011.

During my time in North Staffordshire I was heavily involved in clinical informatics and the development of electronic patient records. I was also heavily involved in quality improvement through leading development of networks including Partners in Paediatrics and the Staffordshire, Shropshire and Black Country Neonatal network.

A couple of years prior to retiring I became National Clinical lead for Hospital Specialties working part time for the HSCIC. This role has continued and now I work mainly with the UK Terminology Centre on the Implementation of SNOMED CT. I am seconded from Keele Medical School where I am deputy Director of Admissions for the Medical School. I have recently become Chairman of the Informatics for Quality Committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Future events of interest:

Nursing Metrics for Quality: Measuring quality in nursing and monitoring progress against the 6Cs
Monday 7 December 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Measuring & Monitoring Clinical Quality
Wednesday 3 February 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Clinical Audit for Improvement 2016
Tuesday 8 March 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Masterclass: Quality Management and Using Data for Improvement
Friday 11 March 
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Download: Dr Andy Spencer full presentation

3 December 2015

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