by Lisa Banks

NEHTA snaps up CSIRO technology for e-health records system upgrade

May 24, 2010
GovernmentHealthcare Industry

The federal government’s national e-health transition authority (NEHTA) is using CSIRO software in its SNOMED CT infrastructure.

SNOMED CT, or systematised nomenclature of medicine – clinical terms, provides a consistent framework from which healthcare providers can share health records.

Inaccurate or missing data from patient records in previous systems led to unnecessary hospitalisations and a waste of about 25 per cent of clinicians’ time, according to the CSIRO.

CSIRO e-health team leader, Dr David Hanson, said in a statement that the integration of CSIRO software into the existing SNOMED CT system is already overcoming these problems.

“Existing electronic systems do not necessarily use the same terms as the SNOMED CT dictionary. Our software, known as Snapper, helps to translate terms in the existing system to terms which are in SNOMED CT,” he said.

The CSIRO hopes that the software will enable computer systems in emergency departments, hospital wards and GP offices to interact with each other.

“Our software helps computer systems to ‘talk’ the same language, as well as to check for known complications related to that diagnosis,” he said.

Snapper was developed by the Australian e-health research centre and is the second e-health tool to come out of the joint venture between the CSIRO and Queensland government. The first software tool, Snorocket, is already being adopted by an international standards organisation.