Posted on February 12, 2024 by Anil Patel and Linda Monico
Infoway congratulates the Regenstrief Institute in commemorating a significant achievement – the invaluable contribution of LOINC® as a global standard for health data over the past three decades. As the acronym suggests (Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes), LOINC® serves as the international standard for identifying health measurements, observations, and documents.
With a reach that spans reference labs, health care providers, government agencies, insurance companies, software and device manufacturers, researchers, and global consumers, LOINC codes are essential in seamlessly moving data across health systems. This widespread adoption not only streamlines information exchange but also empowers health care providers to make informed diagnostic decisions, ultimately enhancing healthcare outcomes.
In Canada, LOINC has been at the forefront since 2006, forming the foundation for the pan-Canadian LOINC Observation Code Database (pCLOCD). This database, tailored to meet the specific needs of Canadian stakeholders, adheres to LOINC copyright rules and supports the use of SI units, Unified Code for Units of Measure, and Canadian French.
The successful implementation of pCLOCD across most of Canada, solidifies LOINC's status as the Canadian standard for interoperability in laboratory ordering and reporting. This milestone underscores LOINC's enduring impact and integral role in advancing health data standards on both a national and global scale.
Additionally, in recent years, LOINC Document Ontology has been integrated in some provinces. LOINC Document Ontology provides for the structured representation of clinical documents, ensuring that vital medical information is uniformly categorized and exchanged. This holistic approach significantly contributes to the enhancement of data standardization and interoperability in Canada.
While there is work ahead for interoperability in health care, let’s take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments thus far and extend our congratulations to LOINC on their 30-year milestone.
Anil Patel BSc, CTSS, HICA (CHIMA) is a Senior Specialist on Digital Health Interoperability team at Infoway, supporting Canadian stakeholders with SNOMED CT®, LOINC, HL7 and Subsets as an expert terminologist. Specializes in architecture solutions for organizations.
Linda Monico leads the authoring and publishing of the bi-annual release of pan-Canadian LOINC Observation Code Database (pCLOCD). She is a Senior Specialist on Digital Health Interoperability team at Infoway, supporting the National Standards Release Centre and InfoCentral, Infoway’s digital health collaboration platform.