News
February 28, 2024

New LOINC® semiannual release highlights health equity projects with national and international partners

LOINC Version 2.77 - Now Available Worldwide

LOINC® from Regenstrief Institute’s semiannual content update highlights the comprehensive nature of its work with international partners, including supporting interoperability for prescription drug records, reporting notifiable conditions and standardizing social risk screening tools to represent social determinants of health (SDOH) information in electronic health records (EHRs).

LOINC release 2.77 includes more than 800 new concepts and edits to more than 1,500 concepts. Work captured in the new release includes support for molecular genetic drug and toxicology testing, ultrasound echocardiogram ejection fraction measurements and detailing new patient survey assessments.

LOINC, short for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, is a global standard for health terminology. Created and maintained at Regenstrief, LOINC enables the identification, exchange and collection of data across health systems and is used around the world.

Specific projects include:

  • New content development with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) and Health Level Seven® (HL7®) International on the Standardized Medication Profile. The project identifies and defines the components of an interoperable medication profile for clinicians, patients and caregivers to use for the exchange of essential medication information during transitions of care to and from post-acute care settings.
  • Additionally, while working closely with CMS, more than 1,100 concepts associated with the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) were edited to augment the collection and reporting of quality data to CMS.
  • In alignment with LOINC’s commitment to advance health equity by encoding content related to social determinants of health and in support of screening for the social and economic conditions that play an important role in health and wellbeing, a survey with questions related to food and housing insecurities and more is included in the semiannual release. LOINC and Health Data Standards at Regenstrief and HL7 International’s Gravity Project are seeking to categorize and standardize SDOH information into EHRs, an ambitious project to integrate social needs data into clinical care to more effectively address health inequities. The project, named in a White House report, was recognized as a source for nationally required SDOH data elements.
  • Collaboration with SNOMED International on the LOINC Ontology: A SNOMED-LOINC Interoperability Solution has produced a preview version of the Ontology browser hosted on https://loincsnomed.org/ where users can download current files, view documentation and frequently asked questions and share feedback with the project team.
  • Additional highlights in the survey and assessment domain include content on measuring trust in science and scientists and their decision making on patient health, the impact of COVID 19 on the mental health of a household, unmet health needs, prevention of illnesses and child and family balance with work during the pandemic.

For any inquiries about the version 2.77 release and to have discussions with others in the LOINC community, post the topic, question or concern in the LOINC Community Forum. This platform was recently relaunched with a new, user-friendly structure.

LOINC is a code system available to users at no cost. Its long-term funding is supported by U.S. federal agencies and other organizations. Health Data Standards at Regenstrief Institute releases updates to LOINC twice per year, in February and August. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and further emphasized the value of this standard and its impact on data interoperability.

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 more than 102,000 concepts for everything from an albumin 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.

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