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The ability to tailor SNOMED CT to support specific use cases speaks to the adaptability of SNOMED CT, and any customization artifact that is beneficial to share may be useful to include in an extensionNRCs may need to configure SNOMED CT to match national requirements for reporting, analytics, language preferences etc.. Hence, following SNOMED CT reference sets may be included in an extension to meet a range of SNOMED CT use cases:

  • A subset of SNOMED CT concepts or descriptions for use in a clinical speciality or practice
  • Groups of concepts to support national reporting and analytics
  • Prioritized components to support the logical display of search results
  • Sets of components annotated with indicators that may trigger various guidelines or features
  • Associations between SNOMED CT concepts, for example to represent language preferences or represent reasons for inactivation

In many cases, the terminology will be customized by referencing existing SNOMED CT components and linking these to additional information. The SNOMED CT reference set structure provides a standard representation for customized sets of SNOMED CT components. Different reference set types have been specified to meet particular needs and data structure requirements. All reference sets belong to a particular SNOMED CT Edition, and reference sets developed by Member countries or local organizations are included in their national or local extension.

Key Steps

In section 5 Key Steps we explain the full set of steps for producing any extension. However, not all of these steps are required for all purposes. If producing an extension for the purpose configuring SNOMED CT for a specific use case, the following key steps are of particular relevance: 

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