Development of the nursing problem list subset of SNOMED CT®

Susan A. Matney, Judith J. Warren, Jonathan L. Evans, Tae Youn Kim, Amy Coenen, Vivian A. Auld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To create an interoperable set of nursing diagnoses for use in the patient problem list in the EHR to support interoperability. Design: Queries for nursing diagnostic concepts were executed against the UMLS Metathesaurus to retrieve all nursing diagnoses across four nursing terminologies where the concept was also represented in SNOMED CT. A candidate data set was retrieved and included the nursing diagnoses and corresponding SNOMED CT concepts from the UMLS Metathesaurus. The team members identified the concepts that met the semantic selection criteria for inclusion in the nursing problem list. Results: 1320 concepts were returned in the initial UMLS Metathesaurus query of nursing diagnostic concepts. Further analysis was conducted to identify those nursing diagnostic concepts mapped to SNOMED CT and duplicate concepts were removed resulting in 591 unique UMLS Metathesaurus concepts. The query extracted all concepts from two of the nursing terminologies that contained interventions and outcomes. After cleaning the dataset, the final count of SNOMED CT concepts in the nursing problem list subset is 369. Conclusions: The problem list is a key component of the patient care and has been acknowledged as critical by the EHR Meaningful Use criteria. Nursing diagnoses on the problem list are foundational for constructing a nursing care plan. A multidisciplinary patient problem list will facilitate communication and evaluation of the contribution of nursing care to the patient's clinical care experiences and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-688
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Health informatics
  • Healthcare terminology
  • Nursing informatics
  • Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine
  • Unified Medical Language System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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