The American Osteopathic Association and clinical-terminology code developer Snomed International have reached an agreement to encode into the Snomed Clinical Terminology hundreds of procedures, diagnoses and anatomical aberrations used by physicians trained in osteopathic medicine.
The coding will provide for improved record-keeping through electronic medical-records systems and the capacity for more efficient research, according to W. Thomas Crow, D.O., chairman of the glossary subcommittee of the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles, an arm of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
The agreement was announced Nov. 5 during the AOA's annual meeting in San Francisco.
Generalized mapping will be performed from the Authorized Osteopathic Thesaurus, already in electronic form, to Snomed CT, Crow said. When completed, terms used by osteopathic physicians but not typically used by allopathic physicians will be coded and usable in an electronic medical-record system configured to use Snomed terminology.
"If we're looking for pulling out data from multiple practitioners, it becomes much more accessible if you're using a common language," Crow said. "It's going to make research into clinical outcomes so much easier."
Franklin Elevitch, M.D., chairman of the Snomed International Authority, an arm of the College of American Pathologists that developed and controls the Snomed code, said in a news release that the addition of the terms and phrases unique to osteopathic physicians "will enhance Snomed's ability to provide a complete and comprehensive breadth of terminology, including terms that have not been available from other sources until now."