July 15, 2020

LOINC joins international council that fosters development of global digital health standards

LOINC joins Joint Initiative Council

Joint Initiative Council members include prominent standards organizations

LOINC®, an international health data standard created and maintained at Regenstrief Institute, has been accepted as the newest member of an international coalition of standards development organizations that has the goal of facilitating healthcare interoperability worldwide. The Joint Initiative Council for Global Health Informatics Standardization (JIC) has nine member organizations that work collectively to improve health informatics data standards development and implementation on a global scale.

JIC was formed in 2007 with three members, and now includes several prominent standards organizations in the industry. The member organizations collaborate to enhance the worldwide digital health industry through joint initiatives that fill gaps without overlapping, leading to a more harmonized approach to developing standards.

“The Joint Initiative Council’s mission aligns closely with LOINC’s, which is to build and support global interoperability to improve healthcare for people around the world,” said Swapna Abhyankar, M.D., LOINC interim director. “We look forward to working together with other leading organizations to create a consistent and comprehensive approach to digital health standards.”

Standards are essential to improve communication across health organizations. Historically, each health system has had its own method of coding its information, and when that data is shared with another system, it can lead to confusion, mislabeling and even poor health outcomes. Standards create a universal language for health data, making it easier to share and ultimately improving the delivery of care.

The LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes) terminology system is used around the world to identify health measurements and observations, laboratory tests and documents. Users from 179 countries employ LOINC, which is available for free.

Other members of JIC are ISO/TC215, HL7 International, CEN/TC251, CDISC, IHE International, DICOM, SNOMED International and GS1. JIC recently published a white paper detailing its mission and work, including specific examples related to COVID-19. Read the paper here.

About LOINC®

LOINC was created in 1994 at Regenstrief Institute in an effort to facilitate interoperability in healthcare. Today, the LOINC coding system contains more than 93,000 terms for everything from a serum alpha 1 antitrypsin level to a zygomatic arch x-ray report. For each concept, LOINC covers 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 researchers 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.

Regenstrief Institute is celebrating 50 years of healthcare innovation. Sam Regenstrief, a 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.

About Joint Initiative Council

The Joint Initiative Council for Global Health Informatics Standardisation (JIC) is formed to further the important role of health informatics standards to enable interoperability of information and processes across health domains. Health informatics standardization is supported by a community of experts that works within and across various health informatics standards development organizations (SDOs). The JIC supports the timely, efficient delivery of safe, coordinated, accountable, high-quality health services to individuals, communities and populations.

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