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The table below provides a summary of the most important criteria to validate prior to submitting your request for change (RFC) to Infoway.

Note that if your RFC is submitted to SNOMED International, compliance to the following criteria will also be mandatory: 

  • Provide Clear Justification for Requesting a Change or New Concept: It is very important to incorporate a clear justification for any change request for the International Edition of SNOMED CT. It helps the Content Team in understanding the nature and context of the requirement. The justification will also aid in assessing the risks and benefits that are associated with making the change. 
  • Provide a Reference: Submissions for a change to the International Edition of SNOMED CT should be supported by at least one reference. The supporting information submitted with the request is required to be recent and from an authoritative source such as a scientific or professional journal or a professional society. 
  • Provide a Definition: Where a new concept is being requested, a text definition that identifies the exact nature of the request must be included. This is especially important where the request is for an obscure disease or a new procedure or is unusual in its nature. Please note that restating the requested descriptions is not considered sufficient as a definition. 

Before submitting a request for change (RFC)

Guidance

Check duplicates of submitted RFCs

  • Verify that the content required does not already exist in the CA Edition (validate synonyms)

Search not only for the exact term but try different words or word combinations that may express the same clinical idea.

  • Verify that the content required does not already exist in SNOMED CT® Core (validate synonyms)

Search not only for the exact term but try different words or word combinations that may express the same clinical idea.

  • Verify that content selected is 'current' or active. A concept that has a status of outdated, limited, duplicated, ambiguous, erroneous, moved elsewhere, retired should NOT be used

If a concept has been INACTIVATED it should not be used.

Find the proper Parent

 

  • Provide a proposed parent (and semantic tag)

Determine the correct hierarchy the content is part of, based on the context of use. The requested concept must be part of the same top level hierarchy as the parent.

Include a Reference & Supporting documents

 

  • Provide clinically validated references
  • Provide a clear justification for the request
  • Provide a text definition for new concepts
  • Provide the use case

Valid references are required for new content 

All reference material must be publicly available, recent and authoritative, a wiki reference is not deemed suitable.

Provide the use case: how and where content will be used.

Include French translations (if required)

 

  • Provide the translation and supporting documentation as required

 

Infoway does not translate content. If a translated term is required, please provide the term with the appropriate supporting information.

 

 

Validate compliance to Editorial Guidelines

Guidance

SNOMED International + CA guidelines

  • Acronym and abbreviation

Refer to SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.4 Abbreviations (and Acronyms)  

  • Article

Omit the inclusion of articles like “an” and “the”

  • Capitalization

All descriptions should be given in lower case letters except the first word in the description, which should be capitalized unless this would change its meaning. The rest of the description should be in lower case, except for proper nouns, adjectives derived from proper nouns, and acronyms.

 The following is an EXAMPLE of the INCORRECT USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS: Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoids and Acellular pertussis (product)

Refer to SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.8 Capitalization

  • Eponym

The following is Canada English specific :

Use the full description in the FSN.

One of the synonyms (syn) will not include an apostrophe or final "s" (E.g.: Down syndrome)
PS or syn will include the apostrophe "s"
* Descriptions should have one with apostrophe "s" AND one without * If one is missing, add it.

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.3 Eponyms

  • Past tense verbal form

Must not be used
Existing terms containing past tense verbs will be moved to the situation hierarchy.

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.6 Past tense verbal forms and sentence function types

  • Plural

The use of plural is to be avoided.

Use singular.

Exceptions: "grouper" concepts may have a synonym that is plural.
EXAMPLE of exception: Procedures for splenic lesions

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.1 Plurals

  • Spacing

Use one space in front of an opening parenthesis and after a closing parenthesis, but not within parentheses
EXAMPLE: aaaa (bbbb) cccc

Where a name includes a ‘+’ symbol a space must be placed either side of the plus symbol
EXAMPLE: ibuprofen + oxycodone (product)

  • Verbal noun

The action word describing the clinical action is the verbal noun ending in "-ion" rather than "-ing".
EXAMPLE: Incision rather than Incising
EXCEPTION: When no other verbal form is available, the "-ing" form may be used or when common usage sanctions the noun form, it may be used.
EXAMPLE: Suturing of tricuspid valve or cautery of wart

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.5 Verbal nouns

  • (&)

Not to be used. To be replaced by ‘and’

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.3 Special characters

  • Apostrophe (' )

No space between the apostrophe and the s, where applicable. For Eponyms, refer to 'Eponym'

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.2 Apostrophes

  • Caret symbols (^)

This is used as a pair of symbols to enclose character strings that properly should be displayed as superscript.

Single caret symbols are not allowed.

Note that no spaces are allowed in between the symbols
EXAMPLE: Technetium Tc^99c^ medronate (substance)

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.8 Caret symbols (^)

  • Colons  ( : )

To separate acronyms from the rest of a name:  There is no space between the acronym and the colon, but a space must be added after the colon
EXAMPLE: FH: Gout
NOTE: In French, there is a space before and after the ( : )

There is no space before or after a ratio

EXAMPLE: lidocaine hydrochloride 1.5%/epinephrine 1:200,000 injection solution vial (product)

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.5 Colons

  • Dash ( - )

Avoid usage as much as possible.
Use the punctuation mark”:” to separate two phrases or names, to contrast values, to show a relationship between two things, or to separate ranges of values. Spaces are required before and after the dash. 
EXAMPLES:
Y90 - Yttrium 90'  meaning: Yttrium 90
O/E - bowel sounds exaggerated' meaning: On examination, bowel sounds exaggerated

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.4 Hyphens and dashes

  • Hyphen ( - )

The hyphen is used to join words and to separate syllables.

There should be no space either before or after the hyphen. Note that more and more words are written without the hyphen.
EXAMPLE:
intra-articular
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.4 Hyphens and dashes

  • Forward slash (/)

Not to be used.
The 'assumed' meaning behind this symbol may vary: may mean a ‘or', a 'and/or' and sometimes is part of an expression's abbreviation (O/E). Writing the whole term without the slash confirms it’s meaning without confusion or ambiguity.
This symbol may be found in acronyms with findings concepts. No space either before or after the slash.
EXAMPLE:
O/E - abdominal mass palpated
Bone structure of head and/or neck

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.6 Forward slashes

  • Plus sign (+)

Insert a space before and after the sign when unifies two words.

For combination drug products.
EXAMPLE: diphtheria + tetanus vaccine.

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.2.2.7 Plus signs

FSN specific

 

  • Semantic tag

The description ends with a parenthesis that includes the hierarchy tag, to be unique.
EXAMPLE: gout (disorder)

  • Language dialect

If different spelling are possible that could represent a US spelling or a UK spelling, the preference will be to represent the term in the US dialect.

  • Avoid plural

Use the singular form unless the concept necessarily involves multiples. EXAMPLE: multiple lumps (finding) or function of specific cranial nerves (observable entity)

  • No eponym

Use full description as the FSN, and the eponymous term as a synonym.
E.g.: 'Moro reflex' should be a synonym of FSN: “infant startle reflex”
Exception: exceptionally long and unwieldy

  • No dash

The dash must be replaced with words that clarify the meaning.

  • Avoid colon

Exceptions: allowed in the FSNs of organisms, substances, or products where the colon is a proper part of the name. They are also allowed in ratios and in tumor stages.

  • Avoid forward slash

Exceptions: A forward slash may be used for representing units of measure, as required in the pharmaceutical products hierarchy, and in laboratory test results and units of measure hierarchies.
Used in the construct “and/or” in FSNs.
There should be no space either before or after the slash.

  • No acronym

All acronyms are banned from FSNs. Description must be expanded.

  • No abbreviation

Abbreviations are prohibited in FSNs and synonyms, with specified exceptions.

Terms containing abbreviations will not be accepted into the International Release.

Hierarchy specific

Refer to SNOMED International Editorial Guide per Hierarchy, for those not listed below

  • Procedure: Diagnostic Imaging

Many concepts and descriptions have been created in the CA Edition. These concepts are part of the Procedure hierarchy.

Refer to this document for Canadian specific guidelines: Canadian Edition Editorial Guidelines for Clinical Imaging Procedures

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.8 Naming conventions for clinical imaging procedures

  • Substances

Many concepts and descriptions have been created in the CA Edition. (antigens and immunoglobulins)

For Immunization, refer to the Immunization content development - Canadian Editorial Guidelines

This topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

7.11.3 Naming conventions for antibodies and antigens

7.11.4 Naming conventions for antivenom

  • Pharmaceuticals / biological product

Many concepts and descriptions have been created in the CA Edition. (vaccines products)

For Immunization,  refer to the Immunization content development - Canadian Editorial Guidelines

Although this topic is covered in SNOMED International Editorial Guidelines, it does not follow the SNOMED International guide: Under review

  • Microorganism (organism)

To ensure RFC’s are created that align with SNOMED International Guidelines, implementers should refer to this document:  Microbiology Content Development – Canadian Editorial Guidelines SNOMED CT on InfoScribe.

Implementers should also be familiar with all of the SNOMED International Guidelines. Some of the guidelines that are documented in the Canadian Microbiology Guidelines document are also covered in the SNOMED International Editorial Guide:

6.1.3.5 Observables and results for microbiology tests

6.2.5  Organism

7.12   Naming conventions for the organism hierarchy.

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