TERMINOLOGY & CLASSIFICATIONS NEWS

Notice of exceptional changes to 2019 release schedule for the UK Edition of SNOMED CT

NHS Digital would like to inform the licensed users of the UK SNOMED CT product of some important changes to the SNOMED CT release schedule for 2019.

The schedule for the following SNOMED CT products will change from the normal schedule for 2019 only:

UK SNOMED CT Clinical Edition

SNOMED CT UK Data Migration Workbench

SNOMED CT UK Query Table and History Substitution Table

NHS Data Migration

The schedule for the National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedures (NICIP) code set release will also be affected in the same way.

Clinical Imaging Procedures

The NHS Digital Terminology and Classifications Service, in anticipation of the significant emphasis on Information Standards support for the Secretary of State's vision and to better be able to support the roadmap for clinical information standards (currently under consultation here), is carrying out an upgrade of its SNOMED CT and dm+d content management platform. This is a significant upgrade that will require extensive testing to ensure releases made through the new platform maintain the level of quality and accuracy that NHS Digital is proud to have demonstrated so far.  After migration, the new platform will enable faster additions and changes of requested content to the releases, shorter release assurance cycles, native RF2 processing, longer submission windows for content requests, and the automation or complete removal of many currently manual processes.  The end result will be a much more responsive service, able to handle the increased numbers of requests as the NHS scales up to full SNOMED CT take-up.

At the same time, the International Edition release for SNOMED CT in 31st January 2019 will contain a significantly higher (excess of 10,000) number of concept changes, which will also require intensive integration and regression testing with the UK SNOMED CT releases.

As Quality is paramount for NHS Digital, to mitigate the risk of delays or adverse quality changes, NHS Digital will pursue a modified release schedule for 2019 which aims to:

  1. Successfully migrate from the existing legacy platform to the new platform
  2. Mitigate the risks to quality and release readiness during 2019
  3. Provide advance notice on the changes to the release schedule to all our licensed users and work with them as far in advance of the releases as possible to address any queries or concerns.

The first major change for 2019 concerns the next release of all products listed above, which will now occur on 1st June 2019 instead of 1st April 2019.  This change is to ensure that the platform migration was successful, including adequate time for additional testing prior to a first release using the new platform.  The following release will be as scheduled on 1st October 2019.

To the same end, the closing date for submission of content change requests during this cycle is moved from 30th December 2018 to 21st December 2018.

In addition to these changes to submission request and next release timings, and to further reduce the complexity and risk of the migration between content management platforms, the semantic content of the 1st June 2019 release will also differ in two significant ways:

  • Exceptionally, the 1st June 2019 release will not include any content changes published in the 31st January 2019 International Edition. Re-aligning the UK Edition with both the 31st January 2019 and 31st July 2019 International Edition changes will be deferred until the 1st October 2019 UK Edition release, when the changes will be simultaneously incorporated into both UK Clinical and UK Drug Extensions.
  • Cut-off dates for authoring are absolute: content change requests for the 1st June 2019  release will be excluded from that release if submitted after 21st December 2019.  Additionally, should any issues arise during new platform testing that can not be resolved by the 1st June 2019 release due to complexity, or other technical reasons, some content submitted even before 21st December 2018 may still not make the 1st June 2019 release. We will contact affected requestors as soon as this appears likely to occur, but would expect to achieve full ‘catch up’ of any residual content requests by the 1st October 2019 release.

We aim to maintain the regular 4-weekly release of the UK SNOMED CT Drug Extension throughout 2019. However, the 1st June 2019 release of the UK SNOMED CT Clinical Extension will not be accompanied by the normal additional co-release of a Drug Extension release fully re-aligned with both the 31st January 2019 International Edition and the 1st June 2019 UK Clinical Extension; all 4-weekly releases of the Drug Extension through 2019 will instead remain based on the 31st July 2018 International Edition and 30th October 2018 UK Clinical Extension, until the next ‘integrated’ release of the UK Edition scheduled for 1st October 2019.

Further updates will be published throughout spring 2019 as the migration to new tooling is undertaken, both by the same channels as this notice and via DELEN, our collaboration and information sharing platform.

We apologise for this alteration to our normal service, and would be happy to discuss what we might practically do to help reduce its more adverse knock-on effects.

For further information or queries, please contact information.standards@nhs.net

By Gavin McIntosh 5 weeks ago