Using SNOMED CT®as a reference terminology to cross map two highly pre-coordinated classification systems

Steven H. Brown, Casey S. Husser, Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, Sandra Bailey, Linda Nugent, Karla Porter, Brent A. Bauer, Peter L. Elkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that SNOMED CT, a granular formal reference terminology, could be used to assist in the creation of a valid crosswalk between two administrative classifications: the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and the U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) disability code set. To establish a baseline, we created an ICD-9-CM terminology server and directly mapped textual descriptions of the VBA disability codes to ICD-9-CM. We next mapped ICD-9-CM and the VBA Disability codes to SNOMED CT. The SNOMED CT mappings were matched across classification systems and terms from related concepts were displayed for an expert coder's review. We report the rate of direct ICD-9-CM to VBA Disability Code mapping (26%), the eventual success of the SNOMED CT based crosswalk (95%) and the rate at which the reviewer had to add codes to complete the mapping (99%). The method using the SNOMED CT crosswalk provided significantly better coverage than the ICD-9-CM direct mapping alone (Pearson Chi Square test; p<0.001). We conclude that SNOMED CT can be a useful adjunct to direct mapping between administrative classifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMEDINFO 2007 - Proceedings of the 12th World Congress on Health (Medical) Informatics
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding Sustainable Health Systems
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781586037741
StatePublished - 2007
Event12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007 - Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: Aug 20 2007Aug 24 2007

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other12th World Congress on Medical Informatics, MEDINFO 2007
CityBrisbane, QLD


  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • semantics
  • terminology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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