SolutionsProject report | SNOMED CT and GMDN databases  
Project report | SNOMED CT and GMDN databases

Harmonization speeds up terminology acceptance and communications in Health, Regulatory and Government sectors

Interverbum Tech project manager Mats Granström is the common denominator between the Swedish-language versions of the multilingual clinical terminology Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine-Clinical Terms, Snomed CT, and the Global Medical Device Nomenclature, GMDN.

“These two systems are part of the future global communications infrastructure in the health sector”, says Kristina Bränd Persson, Head of the Terminology, Classifications and Informatics unit at the National Board of Health and Welfare. “They will provide terminology for many health-related activities, from regulations to reporting requirements and individual patient records. We believe the European Union as well as other countries around the world are taking the same route. Terminology advances are especially important in sectors where information accuracy and communication safety play an important role. This is the reason for our involvement in Snomed CT and other terminology initiatives in the governmental sector.”

“As project manager of the two translation teams, Mats is able to implement the Swedish Snomed CT linguistic guidelines in GMDN work. This alignment is likely to facilitate acceptance and implementation. Everyone’s a winner when we can avoid a separate harmonization process,” Kristina Bränd Persson continues.

Says Mats: “The concurrent timing of the projects is serendipitous, and I’m happy to provide the added value of harmonization. Though each project involves large translation and validation teams, both are tied to the medical and life sciences field, and the terminology is somewhat overlapping. Snomed CT translation work started in October 2007 with some 20 translators working part-time. Collaboration has been important since day one. Besides online contact, translators have gotten to know each other through occasional face-to-face meetings, which is a rare form of social interaction for freelancers. Everyone celebrated completion of the first 200,000 concepts in December 2009!”

Snomed CT is a National Board of Health and Welfare project, and Mats—together with Interverbum Tech partner TNC—is actively involved in the Board’s weekly Editorial Committee meetings.

“The collaborative aspect is even more pronounced in the GMDN project,” Mats says. “We’re excited to have found a way to make the LfMT1 biomedical engineers and the Swedish Association for Clinical Chemistry2 become part of the validation process. They are the main stakeholders and ultimate subject matter experts. Their involvement is a sure way to bring fast acceptance and implementation to a situation where many concepts lack an established terminology. Our translation team of some ten members combines advanced engineering and medical skills. The next stop for the translations is the Eudamed database. Like Snomed CT, the bulk of the translation project will wrap up in 2010.”

1Web page in Swedish only, but the group is part of the nationwide SALAR/SKL network, and their Reidar adverse incident reporting system covers the Nordic countries.

2Svensk förening för Klinisk kemi, Web page in Swedish only

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More Information

For more information, please contact:

Ioannis Iakovidis – Managing Director
Interverbum Technology
Phone: +46 (0)13-32 98 40

Mats Granström – Product Development Manager
Interverbum Technology
Phone: +46 (0)76 00 45 703

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