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SNODENT takes the global stage

ADA and WHO evaluating latest version of International Classification of Diseases


Representing the ADA: Dr. Mark Jurkovich traveled to Denmark to convene the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization’s Dental Specialty Interest Group, identify priorities and develop a work plan. The IHTSDO is the leading provider of standardized clinical terminology in the world.
The Association is taking another step on the world stage through its efforts to evaluate the oral health codes within the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases.

The ADA is working with the World Health Organization by using the Association’s dental diagnostic codes to compare with ICD-11 oral health codes.

The WHO and ADA will use the Systematized Nomenclature of Dentistry, also known as SNODENT, to determine if the oral health codes within ICD-11 are complete, comparable and compatible. ICD-11 will be the latest version of a disease classification that’s used to record many types of health and vital records, including death certificates. Countries that are members of the WHO use these records to compile national mortality and morbidity statistics, which may be used to determine financial reimbursement and resource allocations.

SNODENT is a vocabulary designed for use in the electronic health records environment. Any dentist who uses electronic health records or who plans to in the future should be aware the use of diagnostic codes is on the horizon. SNODENT will be an important component within certified Electronic Health Records Systems for the federal and state governments’ Medicaid and Medicare meaningful use incentive reimbursement programs.

European countries are already using ICD-10, but the United States is still in the process of moving into the 10th version. In the U.S., ICD-10 will become mandatory in 2014. ICD-10 was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 1990, and WHO Member States began using it in 1994. The 11th revision of the classification will continue until 2015.

“This collaboration with the World Health Organization elevates the ADA to the global stage,” said Dr. Poul Erik Petersen, who is leading the WHO Oral Health Topic Advisory Group. “The Association has worked hard to develop SNODENT so that U.S. dentists have a consistent dental terminology when they use electronic health records. By using SNODENT to revise and evaluate ICD-11, we can be assured that the newest version of the International Classification of Diseases is more accurate and comprehensive than previous endeavors. ADA member dentists who participate in the federal government’s EHR Meaningful Use program can know they are using the most up-to-date diagnostic codes in the world.”

SNODENT is incorporated into the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization’s SNOMED CT reference terminology. The IHTSDO is the leading provider of standardized clinical terminology in the world. The WHO has already established an agreement with the IHTSDO to use SNOMED CT in developing ICD-11. The use of SNODENT will work the same way.

The IHTSDO Dental Specialty Interest Group met April 8 in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the IHTSDO’s annual business meeting. The Dental SIG’s main responsibilities included reviewing proposed new dental content, updating existing dental content, plus the proposal and development of new dental content-related projects. As part of the ADA/IHTSDO agreement, the Dental SIG is chaired by Dr. Mark Jurkovich, a member of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs.

Dr. Jurkovich traveled to Denmark to convene the SIG, identify priorities and develop a work plan.