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Regenstrief Institute, developer of the LOINC standard, and SNOMED International this week announced their new effort toward enabling wider healthcare data exchange: the LOINC Ontology.

LOINC is used in nearly 200 countries worldwide and is available in 20 languages. The standard is designed for identifying health measurements, observations and enabling the exchange and collection of data across health systems. Short for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, it was created at Regenstrief and is free for users.

SNOMED International is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to set global standards for health terminology. Its SNOMED CT is a comprehensive, multilingual healthcare terminology developed to help healthcare organizations manage patient data in electronic health records, and to facilitate sharing, decision support and analytics in support of safe and effective health information exchange.

The two groups say the LOINC Ontology will support providers who implement different combinations of SNOMED CT and LOINC in health information systems. It’s meant to allow them to meet clinical and regulatory requirements in a single solution.

By linking the two standards together in a complementary way, the groups say it combines SNOMED CT, which provides the computable framework, where to buy generic kamagra next day and LOINC, which provides laboratory and pathology content in an understood format to countries who don’t use LOINC. 

This standardized terminology initiative to facilitate health information exchange provides new opportunities for growth of LOINC and SNOMED adoption and appreciably improves interoperability between the two standards, which serve an intersecting group of global implementers.

In working together, they note, each organization still retains editorial control of its respective standard. Teams from both groups working on the extension will meet at the upcoming LOINC Conference and at the SNOMED CT Expo, each of which will be held in Atlanta this year.

LOINC and SNOMED were linked in a 2022 collaboration that set the foundation the LOINC extension of SNOMED CT. That agreement was an extension of a cooperative agreement from 2013 that linked the clinical semantics of SNOMED to LOINC observational concepts enabling the identification, exchange and collection of data across health systems.

Both groups note the value of their continued work together by pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which showed the need for coordinated standards to support interoperability and health information exchange.

LOINC version 2.75 was published this past summer.

“The LOINC Ontology, a LOINC and SNOMED CT interoperability solution, is novel and transformative in providing clinical observation content in an integrated format and accelerates interoperability and supports stakeholders with meeting clinical, regulatory and administrative requirements,” said Marjorie Rallins, executive director of LOINC and Health Data Standards at Regenstrief, in a statement.

“Significant commitment and collaboration has been invested by both teams to produce the LOINC ontology preview,” added SNOMED International CEO, Don Sweete. Sweete further elaborated, “This serves as an excellent illustration of how we have leveraged our mutual expertise to further the goal of interoperability for implementers globally.” 

Mike Miliard is executive editor of Healthcare IT News
Email the writer: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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