NHS Digital's new terminology server to enable healthcare IT systems to 'speak the same language'

NHS Digital’s Terminology Server, a solution that enables healthcare IT systems to ‘speak the same language’ and demonstrate the value of collaboration when exchanging data, is now live across the system.

NHS Digital is the first organisation to go live with a solution from the national framework, which was created to make the adoption of standards easier and more cost-effective.

It also enables health organisations to use NHS Digital’s service or procure or manage their own solution.


The solution will allow organisations from across the system to receive national code sets and updates, such as SNOMED CT.

It will also enable clinicians to code in the same language and input the data in a more efficient way.

Additionally, researchers can use the coded data to facilitate better research and organisations can create new apps without the need to maintain large code sets, through a single API.

NHS Digital’s terminology server creates a collaborative ecosystem and a hub of central infrastructure that reduces the cost to organisations wanting to benefit from a common health language.  


The NHS has delayed plans to share NHS medical records from every GP patient in England with third parties. Earlier this month, Health and social care minister Jo Churchill announced that the patient data sharing programme would be now rolled-out on 1 September instead of 1 July.

This year’s HIMSS21 European Health Conference saw experts discuss how Europe’s data-driven initiatives have enabled better patient outcomes. During the panel, NHS England stressed the importance of using data as a lifeblood to improve services and meet population needs.


Nicholas Oughtibridge, lead data architect at NHS Digital, said: “Having consistent codes makes life easier for clinicians and researchers, and ultimately patients.  The Terminology Server facilitates faster data capture and record keeping at the clinical coalface and enables those records to be reused not only in a single clinical setting but in other similar or very different settings as a patient moves around the health and care system.  The Terminology Server also opens the opportunity to reuse data for population analysis, research or for regulating providers.”

Colin Henderson, regional general manager, Dedalus Group, UK & Ireland, said: “Enabling healthcare systems to speak the same language is a key component in driving interoperability.  The Terminology Server provides a real opportunity to create an ecosystem and a community of users across the UK that can benefit from accurate, consistent and up-to-date data.”


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