Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The idea of a comprehensive coding system, able to code any concept has allure; similarly linking a term to related concepts. However, there appear to be flaws: firstly just getting these links right and keeping them up-to-date, secondly how you find data in such a comprehensive system? If limited lists have to be imposed to make things usable why not just stick with the limited list? Routine data offers enormous opportunities for quality improvement and research;12 we should avoid putting this at risk until these issues are resolved. Perhaps a head-to-head test of SNOMED CT v. the widely used combination of the International Classification of Disease (ICD)13 and the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC)14,15 is needed to resolve these important issues. Further debate is needed about the pros and cons of SNOMED CT. Are these teething problems or fundamental flaws? © 2011 PHCSG, British Computer Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Informatics in Primary Care

Publication Date





3 - 5