To enhance clinical data interoperability for non-SNOMED International members, the data standard organization SNOMED International has released the first production version of its International Patient Summary (IPS) Terminology. SNOMED CT International Edition’s hierarchy, defining relationships, and additional synonyms are added to the IPS terminology to create a sub-ontology of SNOMED CT that stakeholders can upload onto a terminology server for the IPS’s designated scope. The IPS is a portion of an EHR that contains crucial medical data needed to allow cross-border patient care. Technically speaking, the IPS is a basic, non-exhaustive set of data components given by HL7 in CDA and FHIR utilizing a set of SNOMED CT words and defined by ISO/EN 17269. As a means of promoting the adoption of the HL7 FHIR IPS protocol, SNOMED International has made a free set of SNOMED CT codes available as part of its Global Patient Set (GPS) from 2019. The IPS Terminology offers all the advantages of the SNOMED CT structure, whereas the GPS is a “flat list” of SNOMED CT codes and phrases without hierarchy or links. The IPS Terminology comes with a user guide to assist implementers in non-Member regions.
The CEO of SNOMED commented on the newly released terminology, stating “In response to the interest that governments globally have shown in implementing the IPS to enhance timely cross border health information flow and interoperability, SNOMED International has prioritized the creation and release of the IPS Terminology, openly available with content from SNOMED CT. …we are at a point were enabling digital healthcare systems worldwide to work together seamlessly is critical. To advance these efforts, we have chosen to dedicate our resources to achieve the goal of interoperability by equipping the IPS, already one of the best examples of international collaboration among standards bodies, with the full capabilities that SNOMED CT offers. We will continue our collaborative efforts in this space as the needs of global health care systems continue to evolve.”
It was first made available in its beta version in April 2022 for stakeholder testing and feedback. The Guide includes instructions on how to install the IPS Terminology in a terminology server and gives an overview of the IPS Terminology’s scope, features, and use cases. Avoid using the IPS Terminology and implement your IPS solutions using a full edition of SNOMED CT if you are currently using SNOMED CT, are in a SNOMED International Member region, or have an Affiliate license. Licensees may use the IPS Reference Set, which lists the subset of essential terms from the IPS Terminology, to share IPS data with non-Affiliates. A supplemental package from SNOMED International’s MLDS service is the IPS Reference Set.