Western Cape Government Strengthens Future Patient Health Information Exchange with SNOMED Regional Members in Africa
The Western Cape government is the first regional member on the African continent to adopt SNOMED CT, the world’s most comprehensive clinical terminology.
LONDON, UK, Aug. 25, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Western Cape government is the first regional member from the African continent to adopt the use of SNOMED CT, the most comprehensive global clinical terminology. The adoption of SNOMED CT in the Western Cape will enable the exchange of health information between participating medical institutions in the region, in addition to meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Health Standards Framework.
The Western Cape is South Africa’s third most populous province after Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with a population of around 7 million. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capacity of the Western Cape Department of Health has been a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19. Lessons learned from ICT over the past three years will be leveraged to do business differently, including improving access to care beyond the walls of our healthcare facilities, and addressing the quadruple burden of disease .
In 2019, an electronic health record (EHR) roadmap developed in the Western Cape Province identified terminology mapping services as a priority component of an interoperable EHR. In 2020, Western Cape Government: Health and Wellness successfully obtained mapping services to improve the user experience for frontline clinical staff when electronically capturing patient clinical data. To take full advantage of acquired terminology services and ensure an interoperable future, in July 2022 the Government of the Western Cape entered into the first regional membership agreement for the use of SNOMED CT on the African continent. This regional membership of SNOMED International extends SNOMED CT to all healthcare facilities in the Western Cape, public and private, while benefiting from the continued maintenance and evolution of SNOMED CT. Specifically, the intended use of SNOMED CT includes use within the clinical interface terminology department accessed through the patient administration and clinical system at public health hospitals in the Western Cape, as well as the use in primary health care facilities and the private sector in the provision of health services.
SNOMED CT is the most comprehensive health terminology in the world. Founded in 2007 by nine founding countries, SNOMED International is an international, nonprofit, member-owned and directed organization that has grown to serve 43 member countries. A comprehensive and scientifically validated clinical content resource, SNOMED CT enables the consistent representation of clinical content in EHRs. SNOMED CT is mapped to many other international standards and enables clinicians to record data with increased accuracy and consistency, supported by an active and engaged community of practice.
According to Dr Krish Vallabhjee, Chief Strategy Group Director, Department of Health and Welfare, Government of the Western Cape, “The department is making steady progress towards creating an electronic health record through several interoperable systems. Our membership in SNOMED and access to its clinical terminology service is a major step in this journey, which will enable, improve and simplify the adoption and accuracy of our clinical patient records and more specifically the coding of patient encounters. patients. Accurate coding is an essential prerequisite for the development of diagnostic-related groups (DRGs) and the allocation of costs/resources to services on the path to university medical coverage. There will be an onboarding process that will take place over the next few months.
SNOMED International CEO Don Sweete welcomes SNOMED International’s newest regional member, Western Cape. “The international SNOMED organization and broader community of practice welcome Western Cape to our growing network,” said Don. “We are delighted that the benefits of SNOMED CT will be extended throughout the Western Cape and we look forward to supporting and exploring this regional membership model. We know that implementing and integrating SNOMED CT into the EHR will contribute to greater interoperability and, therefore, improved patient services and health outcomes.
Visit here to learn more about the Western Cape Government and its DSE roadmap.
To learn more about how SNOMED CT can enable digital health priorities, visit www.snomed.org.
Mark van der Heever
Western Cape Government: Health and Wellbeing