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Recent Implementation of a New Set of COVID-19 Dataset Codes

Recent Implementation of a New Set of COVID-19 Dataset Codes

Information from EHR Intelligence

“There will now be over 150 new LOINC dataset codes that are linked to COVID-19. Health IT professionals at Regenstrief Institute have added new COVID-19 standardized codes for laboratory testing and clinical observations to the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) dataset.

LOINC aims to streamline health data standardization for more efficient EHR use and health data exchange, which is key when a pandemic such as COVID-19 occurs.

As one of the most widely-used code systems, LOINC seeks to provide standardization in medical test result identification, observations, and a variety of other clinical measures. LOINC promotes interoperability with new terms for tests and clinical observations available through requests from end users.

LOINC, which has users in 179 countries, added over 1,200 new standardized terms, with roughly 150 codes affiliated to COVID-19.

“Sharing interoperable data is vital to tracking and understanding the virus. LOINC codes provide a standard way to represent the lab test data so that the information can be shared and analyzed at a global level,” Swapna Abhyankar, MD, interim director for LOINC, said in a statement.

Since the turn of the new year when COVID-19 began to spread, leaders at LOINC worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health labs to create codes aiming to collect and share COVID-19 testing results.

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

With the added 1,231 terms, the LOINC database now holds over 93,600 total terms.

This is yet another step forward in the long history of developing LOINC codes to improve data exchange and interoperability. Developed in 1994, Regenstrief experts have worked to improve the dataset with more relevant codes, aligning with clinical innovations.

In recent years, Regenstrief has been meeting the industry reckoning with the social determinants of health, adding a larger set of SDOH codes to LOINC back in March 2020.

It is especially important for health IT experts at Regenstrief to add SDOH codes to LOINC, due to the vast difficulty in incorporating SDOH and behavioral health data into patient’s health records…”


Read the entire EHR Intelligence article here


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