News
March 31, 2021

Data modernization: LOINC director discusses how data standards are rising to challenges

LOINC® Executive Director Marjorie Rallins, DPM, M.S., participated in a panel discussion during the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) 2021 annual meeting. More than 1,000 health information technology partners signed up to attend the two-day virtual event.

Dr. Rallins was on a panel called Meeting Data Modernization Needs: Standards Development Organizations Rise to the Challenge. She and other experts discussed how standards development organizations such as LOINC address data modernization needs such as accelerated content development to address largescale events like the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining the features and services necessary to meet the growing requirements for interoperability.

Dr. Rallins outlined how healthcare draws upon new sources of data such as social determinants of health that enhance the ability of care teams to stand the social factors that impact health and health care. She highlighted LOINC’s model for representing measures of social determinants of health in a uniform and consistent way to support interoperability of data.

LOINC, the acronym for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, is used by healthcare systems, health-related organizations, public health officials and others in nearly every country around the globe to uniformly identify medical tests, laboratory results, health observations and more, allowing this data to be accurately collected and exchanged. With long-term funding support from U.S. federal agencies and other organizations, LOINC is available free of charge.

About LOINC®

LOINC was created in 1994 at Regenstrief Institute to facilitate interoperability in healthcare. There was a growing trend to send clinical data electronically between healthcare entities, a practice that has now become ubiquitous. Today, it contains almost 95,000 terms for everything from a serum alpha 1 antitrypsin level to a zygomatic arch x-ray report. For each concept, LOINC contains many other rich details, such as synonyms, units of measure, and carefully crafted descriptions.

About Regenstrief Institute

Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.

Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.

  • Marjorie Rallins, DPM, MS

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