ICD-10 is a classification system which can be used to record certain disease states of a patient, e.g.
I50 meaning "Heart failure" or
I50.1 meaning "Left ventricular failure".
SNOMED CT provides multiple advantages:
- SNOMED CT covers all clinical terms, not just disease states. For example we can say
85232009 meaning "left heart failure" but we could also say
163053002 meaning "raised JVP",
162965007 meaning "lung crackles heard",
421346005 meaning "3+ pitting oedema".
Alternatively, we could say
315261000000101 meaning "patient advised to attend emergency department",
239471000000109 meaning "emergency ambulance call" and
1079771000000108 meaning "transported by ambulance".
- SNOMED CT has a grammar, allowing the creation of "expressions". For example, we can say:
236721000000106 meaning "Implantation of intravenous dual chamber cardiac pacemaker system (procedure)"
236721000000106:363704007=91470000 meaning "Implantation of intravenous dual chamber cardiac pacemaker system (procedure) into the axilla"
236721000000106:363704007=91470000, 272741003 = 7771000 meaning "Implantation of intravenous dual chamber cardiac pacemaker system (procedure) into the axilla, left side"
- SNOMED CT is far more granular than ICD-10. There are many more specific codes. Furthermore, SNOMED CT expressions as above allow almost any clinical concept to be described in detail.
I would strongly recommend this guide for learning more about SNOMED CT (https://confluence.ihtsdotools.org/display/DOCSTART/SNOMED+CT+Starter+Guide)