The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care has approved the use of SNOMED clinical terms by healthcare workers in an attempt to ensure better patient safety.
The use of SNOMED CT, the most comprehensive, multilingual clinical healthcare terminology in the world, will ensure that information is exchanged accurately and safely across all NHS organisations.
It is used in more than 50 countries and is already widely used in clinical information exchange in Britain.
Its mandatory adoption will allow nurses and doctors working in all aspects of health and social care to contribute to shared records.
Health minister Simon Burns said: “A common clinical language means nurses and doctors in all care settings can deliver a more effective and safer healthcare system.
“The adoption of SNOMED CT is an important milestone and will mean clearer and consistent communication between hospitals and GPs. Having a standard language also helps patients better understand their care records.”