The Global Patient Set

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The GPS is a managed list of:

existing SNOMED CT unique identifiers, fully specified names (FSN), preferred terms in international English, and status flags. The GPS supports health information interoperability across care settings, systems, organizations and national borders at no cost to users.

SNOMED International has introduced the Global Patient Set (GPS) to support the sharing of patient health information coded with SNOMED CT without the need for a SNOMED International license.

SNOMED International is releasing the GPS to enable use of structured clinical data without barriers, thus supporting preferred conditions for interoperability. For some users, it may provide a starting point for migration to the use of SNOMED CT. For countries considering Membership in SNOMED International, the Global Patient Set will allow for managed exposure and use of SNOMED CT.


COVID-19 Case Study

Treatment, analytics and information sharing of tests and results This scenario presents the example of citizen inter-jurisdiction travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, triggering the need for health care assessment and services delivered outside of their home and the use of the GPS. As citizens resume travel across SNOMED International Member and non-Member countries, the GPS can support cases where travellers become symptomatic or are required to seek COVID-19 testing and related care services. Citizens who engage in cross-jurisdiction travel or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms may present at a health authority for assessment and testing. Health authorities who have adopted COVID-19 vaccine testing and certification standards will have relevant coded content provided by the GPS for documentation of vaccine status, specimen sample,

and test assessments with results. A citizen’s tests and results can be recorded, collected and exchanged using the GPS due to SNOMED CT standard being adopted and supported by the international COVID-19 certification initiatives. Upon returning to their home jurisdiction, a citizen’s care record, encoded with the relevant GPS content may be shared with the citizen’s home care team. Further, health authorities can benefit from the use of GPS coded COVID-19 data for health authority tracking, reporting and population monitoring.


Clinical Transitions

Hip Replacement and Discharge to Home Care Scenario

This health journey illustrates the use of GPS concepts in the planning and provisioning of a patient’s care as they transition from an organization with a SNOMED International license and one that does not.

Paulo, a 72 year old man living in a SNOMED International non-Member country, has multiple health conditions, including type 2 diabetes. Paulo’s main health complaint is hip pain due to osteoarthritis. Throughout his journey, the GPS is used to support Paulo’s referral to hospital and the sharing of diagnostic results back to his general practitioner (GP.) The hospital system Paulo receives his hip replacement surgery from is a SNOMED CT affiliate licensee and the GPS allows Paulo’s GP

to review the SNOMED CT concept identifiers embedded in his electronic hospital discharge summary and associated care plan. Read Paulo’s full scenario at:


Enhancing Care through Digital Health Capability

Breast Cancer Treatment in a Low-or Middle-Income Country (LMIC)

This journey shows GPS concept use in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in maturing digital health systems in a LMIC where no facilities are SNOMED CT enabled. Rather, the GPS has provided an opportunity for a LMIC to start the process of understanding the use and benefits of standardizing clinical language. This journey shows GPS concept use in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in a maturing digital health system where no facilities are SNOMED CT enabled. Rather, the GPS has provided an opportunity for a LMIC to start the process of understanding the use and benefits of standardizing clinical language. This is the journey of ‘Malillo, a woman living in the African nation of Lesotho who, at the age of 34, has been diagnosed with intraductal breast cancer. Advanced cancer diagnostics and treatment are unavailable in Lesotho, and are provided by transporting patients to neighbouring South Africa. Throughout this journey, the GPS is used to provide a standardized language to record care. Using the GPS encourages clinicians involved in ‘Malillo’s care to use the same

words for the same diagnoses, treatments and results across her local clinic, district hospital and academic hospital located in South Africa. The academic hospital’s electronic record system uses GPS concepts which are unique; eliminating duplication across units, supporting accurate retrieval and allowing consistent meaning over time. ‘Malillo’s summary of care records containing the GPS are shared with her district hospital once her treatment has concluded and she is discharged. Read ‘Malillo’s full scenario at:


Global Interoperability with GPS

This scenario presents the example of an international humanitarian organization that delivers impartial medical care to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care and their use of the GPS. As health crises take place in SNOMED International non-Member countries, the International Patient Summary (IPS), part of the scope of the GPS, can support summary patient information gathering. In such situations, up to date patient information recording will not be

undertaken and therefore, gathering of information on a summary level is more likely. When undergoing initial triage in emergency situations, patient summary records coded with SNOMED CT concepts included in the GPS, can then be provided to relevant local care

providers, agencies etc. Read the full Global Interoperability scenario at:

Technical & Other Contexts for GPS Use The license being used for the GPS allows for the use of its content in other artefacts from source code to specification development and research & development to informational website use. Specifications and other standards can include GPS content free for use in documentation, source code and interface specifications provided necessary

attribution is documented. The same applies to research and development. When working on research and development activities, including research papers, content from the GPS, or the whole GPS, may also be freely used with proper attribution. For informational websites (E.g. Wikipedia), content from GPS can be used freely

without any permission provided attribution is given. Read more about the technical and other contexts for GPS use at:


Important Notes about the GPS As a whole, the GPS is not a clinically curated list The GPS does not include SNOMED CT relationships, attributes, hierarchies and historical versioning that are fundamental to the nature of the ontology and its ability to enable clinical data analytics, decision support, etc. The complete set of concept synonyms and definitions are not part of the GPS. The GPS is released annually in September.

SNOMED International — 1 Kingdom Place, Paddington Central London, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)203 755 0974 www.snomed.org

For more information, visit SNOMED International’s GPS information page or write to us at gps@snomed.org.

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DISCLAIMER: All persons and events depicted throughout the GPS scenarios are fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.


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