Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) are self-defining names for lab tests from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS). LOINC is in a cooperative agreement with SNOMED. The LOINC laboratory terms set provides a standard set of universal names and codes for identifying individual laboratory and clinical results.
LOINC is a voluntary effort housed in the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, an internationally respected non-profit medical research organization associated with Indiana University. LOINC system was initiated in 1994 by the Regenstrief Institute and developed by Regenstrief and the LOINC committee as a response to the demand for electronic movement of clinical data from laboratories that produce the data to hospitals, physician's offices, and payers who use the data for clinical care and management purposes.
LOINC codes allow users to merge clinical results from many sources into one database for patient care, clinical research, or management. The LOINC database currently contains about 41,000 observation terms. Nearly 31,000 of these observational terms relate to laboratory testing. Each record in the LOINC database identifies a clinical observation and contains a formal 6-part name, a unique name for tests identifying code with check digit, synonyms, and other useful information. LOINC records apply to all tests with equivalent clinical results. They are not unique per company. Distinct LOINC codes are required for each specimen for which your test kit has been calibrated. If your instrument/kit produced one value for each specimen and you recommend its use on two specimens-- say whole blood and CSF-- two LOINC codes are needed, one for whole blood and one for CSF. If two or more results per specimen are reported (e.g., a control value or a total and a percent), two or more LOINC codes are needed per supported specimen. LOINC has been endorsed by the American Clinical Laboratory Association and the College of American Pathologists. It has been adopted as an alternate test reporting code by large commercial laboratories including Quest, LabCorp, Mayo Medical Laboratories, and MDS Labs; large HMOs including Kaiser Permanente and Aetna; governmental organizations including the CDC, DOD, VA, and NLM; and has also been adopted by Germany, Switzerland, two Canadian provinces and the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Current draft proposals for HIPAA electronic claim attachment standards are based on LOINC codes.
- Scale (Precision)
- Related names
- Other codes