Health standards organizations help codify novel coronavirus info

By | June 11, 2020

As part of the global effort to manage and contain the coronavirus response, two global health standards organizations have introduced new content.

Regenstrief Institute and SNOMED International, are supporting care teams globally to code and track SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 cases, and by extension support clinicians and researchers in their efforts to address its containment.

Regenstrief and SNOMED have recently introduced new content to their respective products, a laboratory and health observations-oriented coding system in the case of LOINC, and a broad spectrum clinical terminology in the case of SNOMED CT. With the high rate of global adoption for both standards, LOINC and SNOMED CT have taken swift action to make this content immediately available to support those on the ground in tackling the virus.

The world is focused on the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the syndrome caused by this coronavirus “COVID-19”, and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has named the virus “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” or SARS-CoV-2.

“With novel viruses that appear to be easily transmittable, such as the coronavirus, it is vitally important that all identified cases be reported quickly for public health tracking,” said Regenstrief Research Scientist Theresa Cullen, MD, global health expert with the Regenstrief Institute.

“The creation of new COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 codes and concepts from LOINC and SNOMED CT introduce the structure in coding needed for health systems internationally to manage the outbreak,” says Don Sweete from SNOMED International.

Based on the formal naming of the syndrome and virus by WHO and ICTV, both organizations are presently updating their respective code and concepts to reflect the change.

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