LOINC and Cyto/Path

Can someone tell me if Cytology and Pathology are excluded from LOINC coding? I was trying to collect some meaningful use data and was told by a Pathology Lab that they were excluded from this?

“Additionally, the discrete data requirement is not an issue when we are talking about Pathology and Cytology reports because there is not numerical or statistical value that can be placed and used for trending…”


There are LOINC codes for Cytology and Pathology, ready for a variety of scenarios. Before we implement them for clients, the HL7 messages are examined for their structure. It seems that this arena may fall short in following HL7 specifications. If all the components of a Pap Smear are in one OBX record, for example, it isn’t possible to append all the corresponding LOINC codes into one field.

Hope this helps!


I see your point but you should be able to provide the basic test information even as limited as the ordered test. Does anyone know if there has been an exclusion in regards to meaningful use statistics and LOINC for Pathology Labs?

With Meaningful Use Phase 2 just being released, we should revisit this question. I hope to get an opinion back to you shortly.