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  • National Pathology and Diagnostics September 2020 Newsletter

    UTL release schedule

    Dear all,

    In our previous newsletter we notified you of the publication of the latest iteration of the Unified test list v0.5.0 in human readable form on our Pathology and Diagnostics Kahootz site.

    The 139 new concepts in this 1st July release included a sample of microorganism nucleic acid SNOMED CT reporting concepts by presence of RNA/DNA, and a  sample of microorganism susceptibility to antimicrobial SNOMED CT reporting concepts.

    We would like to thank all those who attended the last PINUG meeting and subsequent UTL feedback workshop where we presented an overview of the UTL v0.5.0 release, received critical SME feedback on the release content and solicited interest from LIMS suppliers and providers in setting up focused sub groups to address questions relating our Pathology information standards in development (UTL, Units of measure and FHIR message specification).

    For those subscribed to TRUD you will have recently received a notification regarding the revised autumn 2020 schedule for UK SNOMED releases. As previously communicated, we have made the decision to align the release schedule of the UTL PaLM extension module on TRUD with the UK edition release schedule.

    The next UTL release (v0.6.0) will therefore coincide with the next major UK edition release, scheduled for the 4th November.

    Pathology Informatics National User group (PINUG)

    The Pathology Informatics National User Group (PINUG) aims to encourage a two-way dialogue between NHS Digital and other interested parties, allowing us to successfully align with all stakeholder group requirements.   

    The group meets every two months via MS Teams and consists of clinicians, diagnostic professionals and system suppliers.  The meetings are chaired by our lead clinician, who is a member of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath).

    The next PINUG is scheduled to take place on 8th September and will involve a discussion around the UTL v0.5.0 release feedback received at the UTL workshop in July, further information relating to the Proposed PINUG subgroups and recently updated education and training materials

    If you would like to be part of the PINUG please email us at for regular meeting invites and updates.

    Our work with the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB)

    The Pathology business product team have recently undertaken a procurement exercise for the provision of Terminology skills and subject matter expertise to support strategic Pathology activities and are pleased to announce that the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB) have been commissioned for this work.

    The PRSB will build and establish artefacts to showcase the feasibility of using our Pathology information standards in live systems, and will identify key stakeholders for 'first of type' demonstrators fit for submission to the Data coordination Board as evidence for replacement of the PBCL and replacement for EDIFACT Pathology messaging.

    Webinar: An introduction to SNOMED CT in Pathology 

    We have recently published a pre-recorded webinar on the Education and Training area of our Pathology and Diagnostics Kahootz site.

    This webinar provides a basic understanding of SNOMED CT and illustrates how to use a browser to find terms as well as different ways of searching. 

    The main themes covered are:

    • What is SNOMED CT?
    • Why SNOMED CT?
    • SNOMED CT Content - Using Browser
    • Subsets (Refsets)
    • Useful information on SNOMED CT

    The webinar recording is now available to view here

    By Chris Hood 2 years ago

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  • National Pathology and Diagnostics March 2020 Newsletter

    The Pathology Business Product Team continues to refine its approach to developing the Unified Test List (UTL) while regularly adding content by category and is currently working towards the UTL v 0.4 release for 1 April 2020.  This next release will be available both in human readable form and as SNOMED CT RF2 in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine module on TRUD. 

    While continuing to focus on adding blood sciences content to the UTL, the team has also commenced discovery work to investigate sample data to enhance SNOMED CT content to cover Microbiology use cases, and has been working to refine the Information model to reflect clinical and business requirements for this Pathology subdiscipline. 

    Working with the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB), the team has recently established a cross-organisational expert group for governing proposed Pathology information standards created.  The Pathology Standards Governance Board (PSGB) will provide oversight of the development, maintenance and release of the UTL with SNOMED CT concepts, including the Units of Measure (UoM) and Pathology standard-related elements. 


    Stakeholder Engagement 

    Leeds/London Pathology Information Standards Leeds Discussion Groups: 

    Thanks to those who joined us for the Leeds Discussion Group held on the 26th February and the London Discussion Group held on the 4th March. 

    A Composite slid set of the content covered at both events can be found here

    As noted during the events we are keen to gather any feedback you may have on the content covered and would like to invite all those who attended to complete the following electronic survey: 

    We will be organising further focused discussion groups in the future and will keep you informed as details are made available. 

    By Chris Hood 2 years ago

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  • National Pathology and Diagnostics September 2019 Newsletter


    Unified Test List (UTL) 

    Since the last update we have refined our approach to developing the UTL, using the Trusts test lists that have been kindly provided, we have identified a pattern of information for blood sciences, aligned with information required for the Data Model and in this release cycle have been adding new content by category e.g. amino acids, sugars and ratios.  

    We have also been focussing on other improvements in the background to increase the scale of output going forward.  

    In addition to the human-readable version being available in October, we plan to publish a Pathology specific SNOMED version on TRUD alongside the main UK SNOMED CT Edition to enable access to the codes that you need and allow more frequent releases as required. 

    We will provide further updates as these become available. Whilst it does not directly impact the UTL in development (if you are registered on TRUD, you will already have received the following update regarding the UK SNOMED CT Edition: 


    Alignment with the International Edition of SNOMED CT 

    The upcoming October integrated release of UK terminology for clinical and drugs (28.0.0), and all the four weekly drugs extension releases (28.x.0 series) through to March 2020, will remain aligned to the July 2018 release of the International Edition of SNOMED CT. We have taken this decision due to the volume of changes in the later International Editions which affect UK terminology content, particularly drugs, but do not have an immediate impact on the upcoming releases for dm+d. 

    Organisations that have a dependency on the UK Edition of SNOMED CT for their digital products should assess any likely impact, as unintended clinically significant behaviour may occur if systems use differing releases of SNOMED CT.  

    To aid your assessment, you can download the January and June 2019 International Editions of SNOMED CT from here

    We are working towards incorporating the January 2019 International Edition into the UK integrated release for April 2020 (29.0.0), including all derivatives such as the Query and History Substitutions Tables, Cross-maps to ICD/OPCS and Read/CTV3 Data Migration Tables. We will also explore the potential to uplift the April 2020 integrated release to align with the July 2019 International Edition. 

    Early in the new year we will confirm our position on the April 2020 integrated release, including a timetable for all UK terminology releases in 2020. 

    If you need any additional information please contact  


    Message Specification 

    As previously notified in the June 2019 newsletter, NHS Digital has worked with INTEROPen and range of stakeholders to develop a set of draft HL7 FHIR STU3 profiles to support the electronic exchange of pathology test results. Three new FHIR profiles were developed (DiagnosticReport, ProcedureRequest and Specimen) and the existing Observation profile was updated. These and the other CareConnect profiles can be found here: 

    Based on stakeholder feedback, the following two elements in the ProcedureRequest profile have also now been made available for use: 

    • CareConnect-ProcedureRequest-1.priority - the urgency of the test request 
    • CareConnect-ProcedureRequest-1.authoredOn - the date and time of the test request 

    Further information can be found in the draft technical implementation guidance available here: 


    Education & Training 

    Following your feedback and the resulting Terminology Migration workshop in February 

    We have recently published a section on Education & Training on our Pathology diagnostics collaborative workspace to signpost materials to support your transition to SNOMED CT including information for your use; 

    • Introduction to SNOMED 
    • Guidance documents 
    • Case studies on how SNOMED works 
    • Technical resources 
    • Animations 


    We will be engaging with you shortly regarding your priorities regarding bespoke SNOMED in pathology training materials but if you have any feedback regarding this or any of our work please contact us at


    Related Stakeholder News 

    Again, you may already be aware that in June 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s National Pathology Optimisation and Delivery board identified IT requirements for establishing and implementing the 29 Pathology Networks across England including the minimum set of standards to ensure interoperability as end to end systems are deployed.  

    They wrote to all Trust CEO’s and Financial Directors to provide guidance stating “it is therefore mandatory that all systems purchased and deployed into the NHS going forward meet the following standards for requesting, reporting and communicating diagnostic test results:  

    1) SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine -- Clinical Terms)  

    2) FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) message standard.  

    3) Open access of systems - No restrictions on connections and interfacing between clinical systems”. 

    By Chris Hood 3 years ago

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