Observation vs Both Classification

Hey LOINC Forums,

Quick question concerning two LOINC codes:

Why is “25145-4 Bacteria [Presence] in Urine sediment by Light microscopy” classified as an Observation, but “41600-8 Bacteria [Presence] in Synovial fluid by Light microscopy” is labeled as Both.



Great question, we have been challenged in the past to sort through this. This is the way we would look at it:

When mapping, we would not consider a result on a urine sediment as something that might be ‘orderable’ either by the lab or by the physician, the only reason it gets reported is because it was identified in the urine microscopic during reporting process. The bacteria in synovial fluid, on the other hand, might be something that is specifically requested, so would be able to be ordered and reported (the order might be WBC’s and Bacteria for example).

Hope that helps,

Lorie Carey