Abstract

This article describes our initial experience in mapping the Minimum Data Set Home Care (MDS-HC) instrument to the reference terminology known as the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine - Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT). The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which SNOMED CT can be used to encode the MDS-HC instrument. Our mapping method consisted of reviewing all the MDS-HC items, sub-items and responses one at a time to find the corresponding SNOMED CT terms that best represent the concepts involved. Of the 683 MDS-HC terms identified, we could map only 466 or 68.2% of them through exact matches to existing SNOMED CT terms. The use of post-coordination increased the exact matches to 608 or 89.0% of the MDS-HC terms. For the remaining 75 terms, we mapped another 5.1% through partial matches, but left 5.9% unmatched. The findings from this study suggest that, while the use of SNOMED CT in home care settings is promising, further work is needed to incorporate it as the terminology standard within the MDS-HC system.