ICN and IHTSDO Team-up to Ensure a Common Health Terminology

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the International Healthcare Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) announced a collaborative agreement to advance terminology harmonization and foster interoperability in health information systems.

"ICN will embrace this collaboration as an important means of supporting nurses in providing quality care. Nurses need to be able to access and share patient information in a standard way, to ensure safety, improve quality of care across the health care delivery system and communicate with other health professions. The ICN-IHTSDO collaboration will facilitate this," explained David Benton, ICN's Chief Executive Officer. "Many nurses from around the world have contributed to the development and improvement of the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP®). ICN can advance their efforts through this collaboration with IHTSDO."

The new agreement complements the aims of both organizations for state of the art health informatics standards. Close collaboration of standards organizations diminishes gaps and overlaps in standardized terminologies. ICN will be an active participant in the work of the IHTSDO and will facilitate involvement of the nursing community through the IHTSDO Nursing Special Interest Group and ICNP® programme activities. Optimal healthcare terminologies in health information systems support the goals of improved quality of care, enhanced patient safety processes, and valid data- based decision support for clinicians and policy development.

"IHTSDO welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with international nursing organizations to ensure that clinical terminologies respond to the needs of nurses, who are the largest health profession," said Jennifer Zelmer, chief executive officer of the IHTSDO. "We share the goal of having terminologies working effectively together in computer systems that support patient care and other applications."

ICN and IHTSDO are the developers of the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP®) and SNOMED Clinical Terms (CT), respectively. The ICNP® terminology serves a critical role for ICN in representing the domain of nursing practice worldwide, thus providing nurses at all levels with data-based information used for practice, administration, education and research. SNOMED CT is a multidisciplinary healthcare terminology designed to support the entry and retrieval of clinical concepts in electronic record systems and the safe, accurate, and effective exchange of health information.

About ICN
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality nursing care for all and sound health policies globally.
www.icn.ch

About IHTSDO
The IHTSDO (International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation) and its Members seek to improve the health of humankind by fostering the development and use of suitable standardized clinical terminologies, notably SNOMED CT, in order to support the safe, accurate, and effective exchange of health information. The IHTSDO is an international organization, established as a Danish not-for-profit association.
www.ihtsdo.org

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