Mapping Local Clinical Chemistry code with LOINC

Wanchana Pontongmak, Boonchai Kijsanayotin, Areerat Rattanapradit, Win Min Thit



Background: At present, the Health Information Exchange (HIE) is of importance and a requisite in every health organization. HIE usefulness are significant in improving the quality of care, medical reimbursement, epidemiological report, human resource management, health insurance management, and financial management, etc. Health data standard plays a major role as it has ability to enable the data exchange between health organizations. With a goal to achieve semantic interoperability, Thailand needs to adopt the standard for laboratory in national level. Thai Health Information Standard Development Center (THIS) has reviewed the international standards for laboratory and suggested to use Logical Observation Identifier Name and Codes (LOINC). LOINC, a universal coding system for identifying laboratory and clinical observations, was developed and is maintained by Regenstrief Institute of USA.  LOINC covered almost all the medical laboratory tests and is widely used in many countries and its utilization continues to grow globally. Clinical chemistry test is commonly ordered by the physician when a patient needs clinical diagnosis. The understanding of how well the LOINC covered Thai clinical chemistry is necessary to facilitate the adoption of LOINC as a nation health data standard.

Objective: To evaluate the coverage of LOINC to Thai clinical chemistry test in three hospitals

Method: The clinical laboratory data were obtained from three large university hospitals; 1) Ramathibodi hospital, 2) Siriraj hospital, and 3) Chulalongkorn hospital. The Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant (RELMA) was used to map international standard code with local tests.

Results: Local clinical chemistry test data were being mapped with LOINC code for more than 95%, of which, 46.92% were one to one mapping and 48.43% were one to many mapping.

Discussions and Conclusions: International standard for medical laboratory (LOINC) has covered the clinical chemistry laboratory in all 3 major hospitals. More than 95% were able to be mapped, which came to conclusion that LOINC is suitable and practical for clinical chemistry laboratory in Thailand.

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