New clinical terminology system for dentistry delayed

The chief dental officer (CDO) has confirmed that implementation of a new clinical terminology system will be delayed until next year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

SNOMED CT is a structured clinical vocabulary for use in an electronic health record, which has been hailed by NHS Digital as the ‘most comprehensive and precise clinical health terminology product in the world’.

It had been due for roll out this month but dental organisation representatives, including the Association of Dental Groups (ADG), had lobbied for a delay in the wake of the global Coronavirus pandemic and ongoing staff shortages.

ADG chair Neil Carmichael welcomed the decision, saying that the CDO has urged the sector to use the time to prepare for final compliance.

‘This is a great move by the government which takes the pressure off the dentistry sector at a time where it is much needed. We welcome the opportunity for organisations to re-clarify the requirement and to confirm their plans and timelines for SNOMED implementation.

The commitment that NHS X will be holding discussions with the dentistry systems supplier community in parallel with the CDO, BSA and the representative dental professional bodies is also an important step forward to ensuring SNOMED CT can be implemented effectively over the next year,’ he added.