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Subject: References related to recent discussions

In recent discussions related to COVID-19 there have been references to SNOMED, LOINC, and a variety of other standards, vocabularies or resources.  This is a set of descriptions and link for those references I can recall.  There are (always) more.


If you know of another, or want to know of another, reply to this message with your addition or request.



SNOMED CT – Systematic Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terminology

Owned and managed by SNOMED International


concept browser (use UMLS in the US) https://uts.nlm.nih.gov/snomedctBrowser.html

brief description (from https://www.snomed.org/snomed-ct/five-step-briefing)

                SNOMED CT:

  • Is the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world
  • Is a resource with comprehensive, scientifically validated clinical content
  • Enables consistent representation of clinical content in electronic health records
  • Is mapped to other international standards
  • Is in use in more than eighty countries



LOINC – Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes

Owned and managed by Regenstrief Institute


browser: https://search.loinc.org/searchLOINC/

brief description (from https://loinc.org/about/)

LOINC is a common language (a set of identifiers, names, and codes) for identifying health measurements, observations, and documents.


LOINC is a rich catalog of measurements, including laboratory tests, clinical measures like vital signs and anthropometric measures, standardized survey instruments, and more. LOINC also contains codes for collections of these items, such as panels, forms, and documents.


LOINC enables the exchange and aggregation of clinical results for care delivery, outcomes management, and research by providing a set of universal codes and structured names to unambiguously identify things you can measure or observe.


Put another way, LOINC provides the lingua franca for interoperable data exchange.

(and, yes, LOINC rhymes with oink … and if you look closely at their web site, you will see their avatar )



Health & Medical Essential Elements of Information

The best I could find is the following description (at ASPR).  The linked document has a section on Hospitals, although the information specific to Health & Medical is limited

National Information Sharing Consortium. (2015). Essential Elements of Information Publication Guidance for Emergency Management Officials.

This guide, geared towards emergency management officials, highlights an agreed-upon definition of the information sharing components necessary for successful cross-jurisdictional information sharing. The three sections include an executive summary, a description of the Essential Elements of Information (EEI) design process, and Standard Operating Procedure Annex Templates that can be tailored as needed.



Health Level 7 Fast Health Information Resources – HL7 FHIR


Owned and managed by HL7 International (http://www.hl7.org/)

Description from http://hl7.org/fhir/summary.html

FHIR® – Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (hl7.org/fhir) – is a next generation standards framework created by HL7. FHIR combines the best features of HL7's v2 HL7 v3  and CDA  product lines while leveraging the latest web standards and applying a tight focus on implementability.


FHIR solutions are built from a set of modular components called "Resources". These resources can easily be assembled into working systems that solve real world clinical and administrative problems at a fraction of the price of existing alternatives. FHIR is suitable for use in a wide variety of contexts – mobile phone apps, cloud communications, EHR-based data sharing, server communication in large institutional healthcare providers, and much more.



Situation Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response FHIR Implementation Guide – SANER IG


A project within HL7 FHIR

Description from the project page (link above)

The goal of publishing this guide is to encourage the creation of a community interested in extremely rapid development of interfaces that can support communication Bed and other resources to Public Health in this time of crisis.


It is the technical part of a multi-pronged effort to develop a workable, quickly deployable, national approach for situational awareness. The initial short-term goals of this are three fold:

  1. Quickly develop a specification that will support communication of essential situation awareness data for consumption by public health.
  2. Test the ability of systems to use this specification.
  3. Pilot test systems implementing the specification in real world settings.





Scott M Robertson


Principal Technology Consultant


Kaiser Permanente
Technology Risk Office | Health IT Strategy & Policy




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