Facilitates interoperability needed for health information exchange
LOINC® from Regenstrief Institute is issuing its semiannual content update with 811 new concepts to help health systems, laboratories and other health organizations exchange medical data. The new release addresses monkeypox and COVID-19, introduces new concepts that support clinical documentation and adds a new language translation to Ukrainian.
Version 2.73 supports data identification about monkeypox with 10 new microbiology concepts related to virus testing as well as continued concept development for COVID-19 testing.
“As an organization that sets the standard for the accurate exchange of medical information around the world, LOINC has been monitoring the development of monkeypox for some time and evaluating options with our community,” said Marjorie Rallins, DPM, M.S., executive director of LOINC and Health Data Standards at Regenstrief. “Issuing these concepts supports the exchange and aggregation of clinical results for the benefit of care delivery.
“On the COVID front, while vaccinations have been developed that have been successful, there is a general presence of COVID fatigue, especially with the public. Our teams — including our scientists, our community of users and other professionals — continue to diligently develop concepts to help all types of clinical organizations document and communicate COVID information.”
In addition, more than 200 of the new concepts support the implementation and use of clinical notes for documenting care within inpatient and outpatient progress notes and discharge summaries.
“Concepts for clinical notes can seem unremarkable,” Dr. Rallins continued, “but they are vitally important to the integrity of electronic health records and the work of providers to accurately communicate about the care and health of the patients they serve.”
LOINC, short for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, is a worldwide standard for identifying health measurements, observations and documents. Created and maintained at Regenstrief Institute, the system is free to users. LOINC enables the identification, exchange, and collection of data across health systems. The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and further emphasizes the value of this standard and its impact on data interoperability.
LOINC, which continually updates concepts in its coding system, has also added refreshed rankings of the 20,000 most commonly used codes in the U.S. and expanded them to include laboratory LOINC codes. The new rankings now encompass clinical LOINC codes as well. Further details on these rankings can be found on the LOINC website.
Updates are issued in August and February. Since February 2022, LOINC has streamlined its release structure, making it easier for users to access all the necessary files. The addition of a translation to Ukrainian makes LOINC terms now available in 20 languages.
LOINC® was created in 1994 at Regenstrief Institute in an effort to facilitate interoperability in healthcare. Today, the LOINC coding system contains almost 100,000 terms for everything from a serum alpha 1 antitrypsin level to a zygomatic arch x-ray report. For each concept, LOINC includes 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.