SNOMED CT deadline extension for dental providers

THE deadline for compliance with the use of SNOWMED CT terminology for capturing clinical terms within electronic dental patient record systems has been extended by four months.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, Jo Churchill, has agreed to a postponement of full compliance for practices in England to no later than 31 August 2021, in light of the current challenges of Covid-19.

NHS England stated in a recent dentistry and oral health update: "It is vital that dental services are making use of the best digital technologies and engaging with infrastructure to avoid being left behind. The use of SNOMED CT is for the recording of clinical information and not for remuneration purposes. It is the accepted terminology for healthcare records and transfer of patient information in England."

Chief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, commented: "The extension to SNOMED CT gives us time to get the implementation of this important new system right. But let me be clear I do not support endless extensions. At some point we need to take the jump and embrace it - SNOMED CT is a system that is essential to speed up referrals for oral cancer and enable dental practices to receive crucial information on issues such as child safeguarding."