Getting the foot out of the pelvis: modeling problems affecting use of SNOMED CT hierarchies in practical applications

JAMIA, 07/01/2011

The Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) hierarchies cannot be relied upon in their present state in the applications. However, systematic quality assurance and correction are possible and practical but require sound techniques analogous to software engineering and combined lexical and semantic techniques. Until this is done, anyone using SNOMED codes should exercise caution. Errors in the hierarchies, or attempts to compensate for them, are likely to compromise interoperability and meaningful use.

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