Canada Health Infoway is the host organization and sponsor of the IHTSDO membership on behalf of Canada, principally through its Standards Collaborative (SC). The SC supports a pan-Canadian, life-cycle-based approach to health information standards development, implementation, conformance, maintenance, and education. Its members come from the public and private sectors, including developers, implementers and a wide array of clinical professionals and academics. The SC provides integrated and streamlined standards governance, processes, and operations which are open, transparent and accountable. Through the SC, Infoway is working particularly closely with terminology stakeholders and interests to ensure the domestic as well as international success of the IHTSDO and SNOMED CT. Represented from the outset at all levels of IHTSDO governance, the MOLF, the committees, and at many of the SIGs and PGs, Canada has continued and enhanced its active contributions to SNOMED CT. Introductory and advanced training, via local experts as well as CAP/STS, has been initiated and will be available on a wider basis, covering more topics, in the near future. National request submission and maintenance processes are in development, in relation to future National Releases of the standard. Subset and Reference Set governance and development processes are also coming into place. As to integration of SNOMED CT into domestic standards development efforts, a new Working Group of the Standards Collaborative has been formed, and the Terminology Implementation Guide will be updated. Overall, SNOMED CT is the preferred terminology for clinical concepts in our pan-Canadian interoperability standards for such domains as laboratory, public health surveillance, and shared health records, among others.
Canada has undertaken a large, extended array of activity in support of the IHTSDO mandate over the past year. The Canadian National Product Centre was operationalshortly after the launch of IHTSDO, providing licensed access to the international editions of SNOMED CT, along with two freeware browsers, and enquiry support via the Standards Collaborative InfoDesk. Initial efforts have also been placed on support for the early adopters of SNOMED CT across the country. As to implementation activity, SNOMED CT is the terminology for the national Public Health Surveillance solution, Panorama. As well, SNOMED CT is the terminology for a host of e-solutions, including but not limited to the pan-Canadian Shared Health Record and for such clinical domains as drugs and allergies. Advanced development work is also in progress for a province-wide synoptic oncology reporting solution using SNOMED CT for the province of Alberta.
A project to translate SNOMED CT into French has been launched. The relevant components of SNOMED CT are in the process of being prioritized for translation in order to meet the implementation requirements of various Canadian EHR and eHealth projects. In 2008-2009, the first phase of the translation project will focus on providing a quality French translation ofsome 100,000 SNOMED CT concepts accepted for use in Canada. To ensure quality, this involves the definition of editorial guidelines including linguistics rules and the development and integration of quality control mechanisms throughout all the translation and acceptance processes. Infoway is benefiting from the previous experience of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (translation of the Canadian edition of ICD-10 and the Canadian Classification of Health Interventions CCI), the ongoing efforts of Denmark and Sweden in translating SNOMED CT into their national languages, and the collective experience of the IHTSDO Translation Standard Special Interest Group (SIG) and Translation Standard Processes Project Group (PG), where in particular the previous 10-year experience and know-how of the Spanish translation is shared. Canada is an active member of this SIG and will continue to maintain a leadership role in the development of an international SNOMED CT translation standard.
All licenses for domestic use of SNOMED CT in Canada are managed by the Standards Collaborative. Access to SNOMED CT and related artifacts are provided through a membership in the SC, along with IP from other SDOs including HL7, ISO/TC 215, DICOM and LOINC. Affiliates therefore engage in domestic activity for SNOMED CT via the Standards Collaborative membership and governance structure.
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