Regenstrief Adds 400 LOINC Terms, Data Exchange Interoperability

The Regenstrief Institute has added new LOINC terms related to COVID-19 and clinical care in efforts to boost health data exchange interoperability.

The Regenstrief Institute has announced the addition of 400 new terms to the LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes) dataset in efforts to boost health data exchange interoperability.

As one of the most widely used code systems, LOINC seeks to provide standardization in medical test result identification, observations, and various other clinical measures to streamline healthcare data interoperability.

The dataset’s new terms include items related to COVID-19, documentation, clinical care, and reporting. 

The Regenstrief Institute also announced a new LOINC release schedule, with updates set to be published in August and February. 

Beginning in February 2022, LOINC plans to streamline release structure to make accessing data files easier for users.

Earlier this year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) granted the Regenstrief Institute $2 million in funding to boost LOINC standards adoption for increased public health data exchange interoperability.

“LOINC is invaluable as a tool to help address public health crises such as the current pandemic,” Marjorie Rallins, MS, executive director of LOINC, said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

“These grants will help strengthen the capabilities of LOINC, leading to greater and more rapid information exchange and reporting,” Rallins said. “Accurate and expeditious data sharing is critical to developing solutions to this or any public health crisis.” 

Since COVID-19 began to spread in early 2020, leaders at LOINC have worked with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and public health labs to create codes to collect and share COVID-19 testing results.

In July, Regenstrief Institute added 1,200 new standardized terms to the LOINC dataset, with roughly 150 related to COVID-19.

Along with the COVID-19 terms, LOINC added terms for laboratory and clinical test results, surveys related to social determinants of health (SDOH), and food security.

Regenstrief added a more extensive set of SDOH codes to LOINC back in March 2020, helping to address the broad problem of SDOH data integration.

Regenstrief leaders explained the LOINC team has developed a domestic violence screener. The developers are codifying specific questions related to domestic violence that can trigger an alert to the provider.

Even if it’s a simple yes-or-no question, LOINC creates standards that allow researchers to identify all SDOH-related questions that health systems can utilize, Regenstrief said.

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