Starting Snomed

A Beginner's Guide to the Snomed CT Healthcare Terminology

Snomed Browsers

There are several online systems that allow you to explore Snomed without implementing it. They have a variety of ways of presenting information about concepts and their descriptive terms. This way of looking at concepts is ideal for exploring Snomed although you would probably would not want to use these types of interfaces in a live clinical system. All of these browsers will require clicking to accept a licence agreement although these should all be fine for personal use.

There is the official browser of Snomed International. This makes a number of different international versions available and you can pick whichever is most useful to you. It is also open source and if you have the time and the skills you can produce your open version of it. It is probably the most authoritative and makes it easy to see all of the properties of concepts, although this can be a little confusing at first.

There is a specific UK version of this browser which contains the UK edition of Snomed as well as the UK drug extensions. These drug extensions contain concepts describing packs and brands of medicines which are available in the UK.

My favourite browser for looking at “is a” relationships (see chapter 3) is the Shrimp browser. This shows concept relationships graphically. The versions or Snomed used principally Australian national releases, although a limited number of UK, US and international editions are also available.

The official browser in the USA is from the National Library of Medicine. It does not have any distinctive features. It requires a free registration.

There are many other browsers, some of which you can download to your computer; these are necessarily more complicated to set up. Snomed International keeps a list of currently live browsers on its website.

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