Körner Data and SNOMED: A Snapshot from 1988


Surgeon Mr Richard Earlam wrote this piece on SNOMED and Körner Data in the BMJ in 1988. I thought that it would be useful to come at SNOMED-CT® from another angle – history. Systems including ICD become more complex over time, so if we go back in time – maybe things are a little simpler. Going back to the beginning, SNOMED-CT® descended from SNOP – a systematised nomenclature of pathology. However an intermediary was SNOMED or SNOMED-RT. SNOMED-CT® resulted from an amalgamation of SNOMED-RT (RT standing for reference terminology) and the NHS Read Codes (otherwise known as Clinical Terms Version 3). Therefore in this article, SNOMED refers to this intermediate form which was generated in 1973.

Reading the article from a surgical perspective is quite interesting because Mr Earlam refers to SNOP in some detail. Pathology is quite relevant in surgery in clinical practice and Earlam is conversant with the dual axis descriptive system. The descriptors identify the anatomy and the pathology that affects the anatomical structures. Mr Earlam also talks us through the move to the six axes of SNOMED and again how this relates to practice.

What is also interesting about this snapshot in time is the reference to the Körner Data resulting from a series of reports which led to the minimum dataset.

Appendix A – Other Posts in the Series on Health Information Exchanges

Arizona Statewide Health Information Exchange

A History of The Health Information Exchange in Pennsylvania

The Arkansas Health Information Exchange – SHARE

The California Health Information Exchange – Cal Index

Creating a Health Information Exchange in Arizona

Health Information Exchanges

Health Information Exchanges and Chronic Conditions

HIPPA and Health Information Exchanges


ICD-SNOMED-CT® Harmonisation

Mapping ICD 9 (or 10) to SNOMED CT®

Over 1 Million Relationships: SNOMED CT ®

Standardisation of Health Information Technology in New Zealand

Why Do We Need Electronic Record Systems to Talk to Each Other

Appendix B – Definition of Health Information Exchange

This is the definition of the Health Information Exchange that I use (Hersh et al, 2015)

Health information exchange (HIE), the electronic sharing of clinical information across the boundaries of health care organizations

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here

Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link.

TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk.

Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Conflicts of Interest: *For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.


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