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  • Consultation on SNOMED CT Release Frequency and Changes to Subfolder Structure

    Published: September 2020

    Dear colleague,

    The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has necessitated the need for a rapid and responsive service beyond what our regular six-monthly release cycle can offer. We are running a consultation on our SNOMED CT UK Clinical Edition frequency for 2020 and beyond.

    Release Frequency

    We therefore propose a permanent shift to a minimum of seven scheduled releases of the UK Clinical Edition annually, made up of:

    • Two major releases annually in September/October and March, to update SNOMED CT UK Edition with the latest International Edition releases
    • Five minor releases of SNOMED CT UK Clinical Edition compromising of only incremental updates and other additions to UK Clinical Edition content
    • Unlike the 2020 “microreleases”, future minor releases will not be restricted to urgent COVID-19 related content only. Instead, all UK-specific “business as usual” content that was previously released only in two batches (April and October) will become distributed more or less equally across the full set of seven or more annual releases, both major and minor.
    • The SNOMED CT Drug Edition four-weekly release cycle will remain unchanged: each release of SNOMED CT UK Clinical Edition will always co-occur with a scheduled release of the Drug Edition.

    Should the clinical need arise, this typical annual schedule of seven releases may exceptionally be supplemented by one or more additional unscheduled emergency releases; these would however also occur on the same date as the next scheduled release of the UK Drug Edition. The proposed continuing release schedule is therefore fundamentally based on the underlying 4-weekly cycle time of the UK Drug Edition:

    Planned changes to the SNOMED CT UK Edition release subfolder structure

    From the first scheduled release in 2021 (27 January 2021), all PRODUCTION releases of UK Clinical and Drug will adopt the BETA encoding structure. All releases of both UK Clinical and UK Drug Editions will continue to be published in parallel in both the older LEGACY encoding as well as in the new PRODUCTION encoding, but only until the end of March 2021 after which the LEGACY encoding will be permanently withdrawn

    For a more detailed explanation of the motivations for the BETA bundling, see the webinar recording at this location.  Detailed information is also provided in the UK Clinical Edition SNOMED CT Technical overview document, section 2.4.1 and 2.4.2. 

    Throughout the remainder of 2020, PRODUCTION releases will remain as before but with the same content always co-published on TRUD in BETA format, as Test Releases: Clinical Edition and Drug Extension 29.3.0, RF2, BETA: Full, Snapshot & Delta.

    Kind regards

    Terminology and Classifications Delivery Service 

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