This screencast will introduce you to the layout and basic functions of the value domain view and value domain editor. After importing some value sets from the Value Set Authority Center, we will discuss browsing, organizing, creating, and exporting value sets.

Once you’ve seen the video, you can find additional documentation at:

You might also be interested in our other videos about value sets and reference sets:


Today I would like to talk about how to use Snow Owl when working with value sets. For working with value sets we created an own perspective, which is the value set perspective. You can see value sets on the left side and different terminologies on the right side.

Value sets are lists of clinical terms and their codes that are created for a specific context. With a value set you can define a range of permitted values, for example,

the values that are displayed in a pick-list and permitted for data entry. While reference sets contain only SNOMED CT concepts, value sets can contain references to any terminology, classification system, or even to a local code system.

In this video I will show you how to create a value set that contains references from different sources. The value sets that you can see here have been imported from the United States National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center. Let me show you their website where you can download them from.

This is their website with the download area and these are collections of value sets. I downloaded this collection in SVS format, which is supported by Snow Owl and imported it into Snow Owl, and this is over 800 value sets and that’s what you can see here. It’s also possible to do a search for value sets and just select one or two value sets.

Just a few words about the value set view. We actually call value sets “value domains” within Snow Owl, just don’t get confused about this wording. You can close or open all the nodes with these buttons. There’s the option of doing a Filter Search: If I type “tobacco” it shows all of the value sets that have the word “tobacco” in it.

You can also use the Quick Search up here, I already typed in “allergy.” The Quick Search is a comprehensive search across all terminologies so you can see the results for SNOMED CT, ICD-10 and here are the value sets. There are overall seven results If I hit Ctrl+4, I can see all of the results, I got to scroll down and here you can see the 7 results are the value sets that have “allergy” which is in bold.

A third way of looking for value sets where you can actually use wildcards is the Advanced Search, which is invoked with this button and there’s a value set tab here. I can type all* and click on “search”- let me show you this and they have all 25 results that have “al” or “all” in it so All, Allergy, also Palliative Care so we have all the value sets like this.

Let’s look at a value set. Let’s go back to “tobacco”. Let’s use this one and I will just maximize the view so you can see it better. There are two ways of displaying value set members: One is the flat list, which is what you can see here or you can also look at the hierarchical view. You can see there are two different categories because this value set has members from two different terminologies. One is SNOMED CT the other one is CPT this is why you can see different icons here. You can see the code, the status of the value set.

Let me go back to the flat list. You can actually activate and inactivate members here so let me just inactivate a few members: You see they disappear because I inactivated them, now I have only 9 matching members, before I had 13 and with this button you can display inactive members so those are the 4 that I inactivated. Since I haven’t saved anything I can just activate them again to reset the value set to the way it was before.   There’s also the option to filter.

I type the term “stop” now I see only the value sets that have “stop” in their name, which is particularly useful when you have a big value set with lots of members.

If you click one of the concepts, you can see the concept editor. I click one.

The concept editor gives lots of information about the concept. Something that is interesting here is this tab, the value domain membership tab where you can see that this concept is indeed a member of the “Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling” value domain. You can also see here if there are any mappings or what the descriptions are, or the source relationships and so on. Or you can do some editing here as well. Let me just close this and go back to the value domain editor.

This is the Members tab but there are two other pages, the next one is called Properties and it gives you information about the value set. All of this information can be edited, except this one in grey, which is the ID. You cannot change this one. But you can make changes to the name, definition source, you can enter a website, version, purpose, type, you can change the status, you can enter an effective time, which is the date when the value domain is expected to be effective.

The last tab is Metadata.This is extra information that was imported with the value sets, for example, the eMeasure Title. If I click it, I can see the keywords that are assigned to it. You can also define new groups here and assign keywords to them. So much about the existing value sets.

Now let’s create a value set on our own. There are different ways. First of all you can create a value set that is a top-level value set. If I just hit this button, it would create a value set that is here or I can also go to one of the folders and just say “Add new value domain” or I can add a new folder.

Let’s add a new folder, it’s called “Sample”. I have to clear this filter to show the folder and here it is and I could also – if I right click it again – add a subfolder and then I can create a value domain in my subfolder. It’s also possible to move value sets from one folder into another one. You just grab it and then you go to the folder and you drop it there and now it’s been moved into this folder. Or I can move it into another folder just like this.

Let’s create a new value set. I just click this button and let’s create one called “Weight management.” Version: 1, “Sample value set about weight management” and as a source I will enter “B2i Healthcare”, Finish.

So you see, it created a new value set here and it’s empty. The editor was  automatically opened. If I go to the Properties tab I have all the information I just entered and it created also an ID which is here and today as the effective time as well. Now let’s add some members from ICD-10. Since we’re talking about weight management, let’s use “diet” and I will just display the results in a flat list.

I would like to add these two. One way of adding members is to select one, then right-click it, and then you can “Add concept to the active value domain” or you can also “Add concept and descendants to the active value set”, which is particularly useful in SNOMED CT if you want to add a part of the terminology to the value set, so not just the parent concept but also the children, but let’s just add this one for now. See, now it’s in here and if I go to the hierarchical view can see that it’s ICD-10.

Another way of adding members is just by simply drag-and-drop so I move it over into the editor, you see why the value domain perspective comes so handy because you can just move members from here to there by dragging them. Another possibility is from the search results view. Let’s do a search, a SNOMED CT search.  Let’s look for “weight reduction”, search. Here are 4 search results and I would like to add all of them. I just marked them all and then again simply drag and drop them. You see it created a new hierarchy for SNOMED CT now you can see we have ICD-10 and SNOMED CT members in our value set.

Let’s add a local code system. I created one, which is called “diets” that has five codes in it. I don’t want to go into too much detail but it’s very easy to create a local code system with Snow Owl. All you have to do is use this button here, then you can enter a name for your local code system, which shows up like a folder here and then you go to this folder, you right-click it and then you can add new codes and child codes so you can create a hierarchy.

So let’s just move – since there are only five – them over into the editor and I would like to show you what happens if you try to add a member that is already in the value set. You get a warning message that this was already included. So we validate for this. Now we have local code system, ICD-10 and SNOMED CT in our new value set called “Weight management.”

You can save it and export it into Excel. Just go to File “Export value domains to Excel file”. Next. Specify the path and then you cane xport it. What it looks like I’ve already done this I just wanted to show you the format. So each value set has two sheets in an Excel file. One is what we saw on the Properties section so the identifier, the name, definition, the effective time and the other sheet, has the different members. You can see that there were three different code systems, so this was my local code system called “Diets”, SNOMED CT and ICD-10 and here are the codes, some these are the local codes that I defined, here is the term. If you want to import from Excel into Snow Owl, your file should also have this format, so either SVS or an Excel file in this format. You can also export

a lot of value sets at the same time and then every value set will have two sheets just one after the other, that’s what it will look like if you export a whole collection of value sets.

That’s all I wanted to show you about value sets. Thanks for your attention. I hope you enjoyed it.