Experiences mapping allied health clinical terminology to SNOMED CT-AU

Alicia Chaplain1, Catherine Stephens2, Donna Truran3, Kylynn Loi4

1Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland, Department of Health, Herston, Australia, 2Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland, Department of Health, Herston, Australia, 3Australian eHealth Research Centre, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia, 4Australian eHealth Research Centre, CSIRO, Herston, Australia

Background: Health services are undergoing dramatic changes in the way that information is collected, stored and reported upon with the introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs). There is now an increasing need to represent clinical information in a format that computers can read, transfer and share. The use of clinical terminologies and reporting of such data have become increasingly important for allied health clinical services.

Queensland Health has done extensive work to create clinical code sets for the public sector to align with the Allied Health National Best Practice Data Set clinical items – Assessment type and measure, clinical findings, interventions and indicator for allied health intervention.

Method: Queensland Health allied health clinical code sets were reviewed by the Australian eHealth Research Centre (CSIRO) and mapped to the Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms Australia (SNOMED CT-AU) using a source data method. Terms identified by: Audiology, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Psychology, Speech Pathology and Social Work, were included in scope for this project.

Results: The mapping process identified duplicate terms and gaps between professions code sets, resulting in the development of four subsets for Allied Health with no profession specific partitions. These sets contained approximately 4000 terms and an expanded set of these terms will soon be available as the Allied Health Clinical Reference Set, in SNOMED CT-AU.

Discussion: The Allied Health Clinical Reference Set represents a starting point for terminology implementations in EMRs used by allied health in the public sector. Use of SNOMED CT-AU will ensure the accuracy and interoperability of allied health data collection so the value of allied health can be appropriately measured. This terminology content will be deployed in a service event form in Cerner integrated electronic medical record in Queensland.


Biography:

Alicia Chaplain is a Senior Workforce Officer for the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland. She is a registered occupational therapist and has worked in a clinical capacity for over 10 years in Australia and the United Kingdom.  She developed an interest in eHealth and standards through her work in the United Kingdom, in the development of clinical information systems for community occupational therapists. She has since worked across eHealth standards and Health ICT project delivery in Queensland.

Alicia has a keen interest in data and information management for allied health, and in her current role is progressing work to ensure the value of allied health services are demonstrated for the benefit of patients and clinicians. Her most recent project mapping allied health terminology to SNOMED CT-AU was completed last year and enables allied health information to be at the forefront of digital transformation in Australia.

Alicia Chaplain is a Senior Workforce Officer for the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland. She is a registered occupational therapist and has worked in a clinical capacity for over 10 years in Australia and the United Kingdom.  She developed an interest in eHealth and standards through her work in the United Kingdom, in the development of clinical information systems for community occupational therapists. She has since worked across eHealth standards and Health ICT project delivery in Queensland.

Alicia has a keen interest in data and information management for allied health, and in her current role is progressing work to ensure the value of allied health services are demonstrated for the benefit of patients and clinicians. Her most recent project mapping allied health terminology to SNOMED CT-AU was completed last year and enables allied health information to be at the forefront of digital transformation in Australia.

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