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How Do We Categorize Risk Diagnoses?

November 9, 2022

In a recent meeting that involved members of SNOMED CT and other nursing organizations involved in interoperability among languages, an interesting question was raised. 

How can we validate levels of risk? 

How can we define high-risk, low-risk, and moderate-risk nursing diagnoses? How are we able to use our assessment data to clearly differentiate people who are at a very low risk of falls (for example) compared to those who are at a high risk of falling? 

Knowing how levels of risk are differentiated in the nursing diagnoses could positively affect patient care. Using this same example, the care team could provide a higher level of care to patients with a high risk of falls, and provide better staffing ratios to support them. This would also influence how interventions are determined. 

Although SNOMED CT did agree to allow risk diagnoses to remain within its terminology, it does beg the question: How do we answer this question in the future? As you complete your research and other work, please consider how you think we could improve our classification to address this issue.