Nictiz providing a National Terminology Server for the Netherlands

April 19th, 2022

Nictiz has implemented the National Terminology Server for the Netherlands using Ontoserver to help software vendors and data scientists keep up-to-date with national terminology content such as SNOMED CT and the Dutch lab code set.

Who is Nictiz?

Nictiz is the Dutch national competence centre for electronic exchange of health and care information. Nictiz maintains standards for the exchange of healthcare information and provides advice for use to healthcare organisations and software vendors. It is also the national release centre for SNOMED CT in the Netherlands.

The Challenge

As Nictiz needs to manage multiple code systems such as LOINC, SNOMED, GMDN , ICD10 and a whole host of national code systems, as well as a multiple value sets required for implementing healthcare information models correctly, Nictiz needed a way to centralise knowledge and allow end users to easily find and implement these resources.

Nictiz wanted a way to reduce complexity for implementers and to make it easier for them to stay up to date as was required for their users.


Using Ontoserver as their terminology server, Nictiz was able to provide

  • a single point of context for users looking for the latest version of terminology/code systems and value sets.
  • a solution that reduces the threshold for implementation of terminology by using a single system (FHIR) and makes it easier for users to stay up to date regardless of the terminology update schedule

Future Plans

In the future, Nictiz plans to encourage end users to syndicate their own instances of Ontoserver, pulling content from Nictiz for the syndication service syndication feed. Nictiz also plans to add more code systems into Ontoserver.

“I think the largest advantage of Ontoserver over other products is that it is very simple. It is a FHIR compatible API, and therefore it’s very easy to integrate it with other services. For example, we can set up a pipeline for SNOMED that pulls to release files from a predetermined location, transforms it into FHIR, publishes it to a testing server, notifies us when it’s ready for testing and pushing it from a testing server to production is just as easy and requires minimal human intervention”

“Centralising the knowledge and transforming resources to FHIR is an enormous timesaver for implementers. End users no longer have to sift through all the different release formats, and can instead focus on the terminology models of FHIR for all resources– reducing the threshold for implementation of terminology and making it easier for users to stay up to date.”