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Using SNOMED Clinical Terms

SNOMED Clinical Terms (CT) is a new clinical terminology system, which has been endorsed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health for use in the health and disability sector. It will replace the UK Read clinical codes, which are no longer supported.

Get started with SNOMED CT

If you want to use SNOMED enabled software, your software vendor must register with the Ministry of Health as they hold the New Zealand license for SNOMED CT.  

More information about SNOMED CT in New Zealand


We’re working with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development to work out how to implement SNOMED CT. Currently we’re accepting SNOMED CT codes for diagnoses at claims lodgement from certain providers and we’re translating them to Read codes. 

To make a claim with SNOMED CT diagnoses, your software vendor must register with us to use our APIs.

Our claim APIs in our developer centre

Using SNOMED CT to lodge claims with ACC

Because we’re still learning how best to use SNOMED CT, we haven’t yet set any specific constraints, such as diagnoses reference sets. This means you can choose the term that best fits the injury. 

To establish that a patient’s condition is a personal injury caused by an accident that we’ll cover, the SNOMED CT concept used for diagnosis on the claim form should be an active ‘disorder’ data type that includes:

  • a medical condition that is a personal injury
  • a body site, unless the condition is systemic, eg allergic reaction.

If the claim is for sexual abuse, use the ‘event’ for sexual abuse. 

SNOMED CT to Read code translation

Our systems are not yet able to accept SNOMED CT directly, so we’re translating lodgement diagnoses to Read codes using a translation table.

SNOMED CT to Read translation table

This translation table is based on the SNOMED CT international release of 31 July 2018.

An exact match to the SNOMED CT concept isn't always possible, in which case a more generic diagnosis may be used for translation.

SNOMED CT and ICD codes

ICD codes are primarily used by DHBs and private hospitals, who can continue to submit them as normal. If you have been using ICD coding and want to start using SNOMED CT, your software vendor must register to use the new API and agree to our SNOMED CT guidance. 

Any claims lodged with SNOMED CT diagnoses will be translated to Read codes for ACC internal use, regardless of which coding system you’ve previously used.  

Contact us

If you have questions, contact our SNOMED team
Last published: 12 December 2018