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 III for an informational resource developed by the Health IT Standards Committee. 


Agree with Rob McClure,…

Agree with Rob McClure, LOINC does NOT seem appropriate in this context.


  • 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.