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International Council of Nurses and SNOMED sign ground-breaking agreement to secure a bright future for the International Classification for Nursing Practice

August 11, 2020

London, United Kingdom and Geneva, Switzerland, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SNOMED International and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) have joined forces in an agreement that will pave the way for the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) to be managed, produced, released and distributed by SNOMED International.

This agreement, which is the culmination of years of collaboration between the two organisations, will see ICN retain ownership of ICNP and continue to define its content so that it meets the needs of the global nursing profession.

The agreement aligns with increasing global health digitisation, the widespread use of SNOMED CT-enabled electronic health records (EHR), and the documentation of ICNP-specific content by nurses around the world.

A significant benefit of this agreement removes the need for countries that currently use both ICNP and SNOMED CT to engage in mapping activities between the two systems, which is an effort that was previously required.

The ICNP, which has been in use for more than 30 years, is a standardised terminology used to represent nursing diagnoses, interventions and outcomes. It provides a dictionary of terms and expressive relationships that nurses can use to describe and report their practice in a systematic way. The resulting information is used reliably to support care and effective decision-making, and inform nursing education, research and health policy.

ICN will continue to define ICNP’s editorial policy and advise of changes to ICNP through SNOMED CT’s Content Request Service.

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton said:

“Increasing demand for reliable data means ICNP is an essential tool for modern day nursing. We know that the only things that count are the things that are counted, so the use of this tool is vital to ensure that nursing work and its impact are adequately represented in the data sets that are used to control healthcare systems around the world. Nursing needs to be visible to be viable, and the collaboration between ICN and SNOMED will shine a light on nursing care and ensure that its benefits are recorded, recognised and rewarded.”

SNOMED CT is the world’s largest clinical terminology, representing a collection of more than 350,000+ clinical concepts and built upon ontological principles, particularly useful when applied in research and planning capacities. SNOMED CT’s primary purpose is to support all healthcare professionals in their recording and sharing of detailed patient information within EHRs and across healthcare communities globally.

ICN’s nursing terminology, which is defined by the nursing profession, will now be coupled with SNOMED International’s global clinical validation processes, licensing platform, quality assurance approach and established distribution tools.

SNOMED International CEO, Don Sweete said:

“ICN continues to retain ownership of the ICNP product. What this agreement enables is ease of use through new management, production and delivery mechanisms to reach nursing users globally through SNOMED International.”

With this five-year agreement, the use of added ICNP terminology will be pursued by SNOMED International Member countries, including but not limited to Canada, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden. SNOMED International and ICN are currently engaged in planning the update of content to ICNP 2019, and preparing the first release of the ICNP reference set, on behalf of ICN, by September 2021, initially with an agreed two-year release cycle.

Visit the International Council of Nurses or SNOMED International to learn more about this new agreement or ICNP and SNOMED CT.


Kelly Kuru SNOMED International +1 416 566 8725 kku@snomed.org Gyorgy Madarasz International Council of Nurses +41 22 908 01 16 madarasz@icn.ch 


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