Representing Patient Clinical “Problems” (i.e., Conditions)

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Type Standard Implementation/Specification Standards Process Maturity Implementation Maturity Adoption Level Federally required Cost Test Tool Availability
Standard for observation values
Rating 5
Limitations, Dependencies, and Preconditions for Consideration Applicable Value Set(s) and Starter Set(s)
  • The use of SNOMED CT® for this interoperability need, codes should generally be chosen from three axes: Clinical finding, Situation with explicit context, and Event.
  • SNOMED CT® supports the combination of codes (post-coordination) to generate new meaning. Codes from other axes can be used in post-coordination. The need to pick multiple codes may be seen as a disadvantage. This can be avoided if post-coordination is limited to the backend, exposing a single code for users to pick.
  • For more information about observations and observation values, see Appendix II for an informational resource developed by the Health IT Standards Committee. 



  • The 2nd and 3rd bullets both describe post-coordination and could be combined into one.
  • 'left leg fracture' now has a single SNOMED CT code; ‘left kidney stone’ could be used instead as an example of post-coordination.