On March 31st, 2017, NHS Digital licensed the Snow Owl® Collaborative Authoring Platform and Terminology Server to support their terminology authoring processes. In addition to driving the UK’s clinical terminology efforts by providing a platform to author national clinical codes, Snow Owl will support the maintenance and improvement of the dm+d drug extension which alone is used in over 156 million electronic prescriptions per month.

The move to a single terminology, SNOMED CT, for the direct management of care of an individual, across all care settings in England, is recommended by the National Information Board (NIB), in ‘ Personalised Health and Care 2020: A Framework for Action’. This has led to the following implementation plans in England:

  • SNOMED CT must be implemented across primary care settings by April 2018. Systems used by GP service providers must adopt SNOMED CT as the clinical terminology within the system before 1 April 2018. SNOMED CT must be used in place of Read codes before 1 April 2018.
  • Secondary Care, Acute Care, Mental Health, Community systems, Dentistry and other systems used in direct patient care must use SNOMED CT as the clinical terminology, before 1 April 2020.

NHS Digital will use the Snow Owl Collaborative Authoring Platform and Terminology Server to help meet these aggressive deadlines.