Michael Osborne is a Pathology Informatics specialist who works at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane (Australia). He has been an Aussie representative on the IHTSDO content standing committee since 2010.
Michael has written a thoughtful article that you can find in full at: Guest editorial: Farewell Kent Spackman on PulseIT
I thought the highlights of the article were,
“Kent Spackman has been the major force behind SNOMED since 1997. In October 2014 Kent announced to the world that he is standing down from his position at the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) as Chief Terminologist (IHTSDO, 2014). Kent retired as of 1st January 2015.”
“SNOMED CT allows health systems to seamlessly interchange the meaning of data elements. The meaning is modelled into the terminology. How can something as complex as bacterial infection of the lung be meaningfully modelled? All of the lower level components such as anatomy, bacteria and pathogenic processes are also defined into the terminology. A bit like LEGO, these low level attributes are combined in logical statements to define the concepts, of which there are over 300,000.”
The article highlighted a number of IHTSDO and NEHTA initiatives:
- Recently developed LINGO web tools making it easier to develop both the Australian extension to SNOMED CT and the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT)
- A responsive corporate business model with a hew helpdesk called FreshDesk.
The author noted that many of the anatomy projects had a “heavy reliance on Kent as Chief Terminologist. Kent’s vast knowledge of SNOMED CT and Medical Informatics in general will be hard to replace“.
To quote the Kent Spackman retirement press release:
“In recent times he has been central to harmonization activities between IHTSDO and WHO and in the development of the linkage between SNOMED CT and ICD-11. He has also taken a lead role on behalf of IHTSDO in the harmonization of SNOMED CT and LOINC, ensuring greater interoperability between both global standards.”
Don Sweete, the incoming CEO of IHTSDO is reported as saying “It is our task now to take up the challenge and continue with his vision and work.”
The article contains a brief bibliography
Enjoy your retirement Kent – Goodbye and thanks for all the Terms!
The AuCTUG Team