How specialized terminologies improve clinical documentation

When your EHR lacks specialized terminologies, a host of health IT initiatives suffer. Going beyond the basics improves clinical documentation and more.

When it comes to clinical documentation, most in health IT – and healthcare as a whole – are familiar with the major players, like SNOMED CT®, ICD-10-CM, and Current Procedural Terminology(CPT®), to name a few.

But there are also a host of more specialized, nuanced terminology sets that help support needs like interoperability and reimbursement – as well as clinical documentation. IMO’s latest insight brief, Beyond the basics: Specialized terminologies outside the acute care setting takes a look at several of these terminologies and why having them in your electronic health record (EHR) matters. Keep reading below for an excerpt from the brief.


What is it?

SNODENT is a standardized terminology system built for describing dental care within an electronic record. It is associated with SNOMED International.1

How or why is it used?

SNODENT is used by practicing dentists, researchers, students, electronic dental record (EDT) vendors and others who need a standardized way of documenting clinical dental findings.2

Why it matters

SNODENT is one of the only terminology systems focused exclusively on the documentation of oral health needs. SNODENT facilitates interoperability between dental facilities and other electronic health records, helps with clinical decision support, and enables large-scale research and analysis of dental data. The system also supports continuous quality improvement (CQI) measures along with efforts to improve the cost-effectiveness of dental care.3

To learn more about the role specialized terminologies play beyond the acute care setting, download the insight brief:

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
SNOMED and SNOMED CT are registered trademarks of SNOMED International.


1No author listed. SNODENT: The language of dentistry. American Dental Association. Accessed 24 Apr 2023 via:

2No author listed. SNODENT starter guide. American Dental Association. Accessed 24 Apr 2023 via:

3No author listed. SNODENT starter guide. American Dental Association. Accessed 24 Apr 2023 via:

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