Last week’s question covered Metcalfe’s law and the value of a telecommunications network. In this week’s practice question, we’ll be discussing clinical data standards. In particular – standards involving nomenclatures, vocabularies, and terminologies – and even more specifically, Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT).
Where does this fit within the core content?
Clinical data standards – and the health information systems section, makes up approximately 30% of questions on the exam. Below you can find where SNOMED-CT and other nomenclatures exist within the core content.
- 1. Fundamentals
- 2. Clinical Decision Making & Care Process Improvement
- 3. Health Information Systems
- 3.1 Health IT Systems
- 3.2 Human Factors Engineering
- 3.3 Health Information Systems and Applications
- 3.4 Clinical Data Standards
- 3.4.1 Standards development history and current process
- 3.4.2 Data standards and data sharing
- 3.4.3 Transaction standards
- 3.4.4 Messaging standards
- 3.4.5 Nomenclatures, vocabularies, and terminologies
- 3.4.6 Ontologies and taxonomies
- 3.4.7 Interoperability standards
- 3.5 Information Life Cycle
- 4. Leading and Managing Change
Why Nomenclatures, Terminologies, and Vocabularies are Important
Nomenclatures – or a body or system of names within a field – help us and help computers understand sometimes-vague language. By creating nomenclatures, standardized terminologies, and vocabularies, we reduce the risk for misinterpretation of information. This standardized system lets applications and systems better understand one another through efficient data sharing.
Some examples of nomenclatures, taxonomies, and vocabularies in the clinical field include:
- and others
SNOMED-CT was created by the College of American Pathologists to provide core terminology for EHRs and other clinical information systems. It makes consistent data exchange between systems and applications possible.
So that’s enough for now, because if we keep going, we’ll give away the answer! So let’s get into this week’s clinical informatics certification exam practice question of the week.
SNOMED CT focuses on ________ while LOINC focuses on ________.
1. Recording Clinical Data, Test and Observations
2. Medical Procedures, Recording Diagnoses
3. Tests and Observations, Recording Clinical Data
4. Recording Diagnoses, Medical Procedures
Explanation and Answer
- LOINC focuses on test observations
- SNOMED-CT focuses on recording clinical data
- CPT focuses on medical procedures
- ICD focuses on recording diagnoses
Therefore, the best answer to this question is answer one. SNOMED focuses on recording clinical data while LOINC focuses on tests and observations.
Check out the sample SNOMED-CT format in the image below:
To look at the different in structure between SNOMED and LOINC.
- Kind of Property
- Time Aspect
- System/Sample Type
- Type of Scale
- Type of Method
Here’s an example of a LOINC standard nomenclature:
LOINC and SNOMED-CT may seem complicated at first. To help demystify them, look up some common tests and measurements in LOINC or some procedures or diagnosis in SNOMED to get you acquainted with their layouts and components. Check the references and recommended reading section below for more.
As Dr. Vreeman points out in the comments, LOINC is made available available at no cost worldwide, whereas IHTSDO makes SNOMED CT available via countries who pay a membership fee.
If you’re looking for more resource on clinical informatics, you can purchase our text – Clinical Informatics Board Review: Pass the Exam the First Time. It’s the only board review book for the clinical informatics exam and comes with a money back guarantee if you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt – it’s the only study material for the clinical informatics exam with one.
You can also sign up for practice questions through learn.informaticspro.com if you’re looking to test your readiness for the exam. A full-length practice exam should be coming in the next couple of weeks.
If you found this post helpful, be sure to sign up for our email list. We’re currently counting down the days until the next exam (it’s less than 200 and approaching fast!)
References and Recommended Reading
SNOMED-CT by IHTSDO
LOINC by Regenstrief