Reference Lab Testing and LOINC Codes

Question: How are the association of LOINC codes with Referred Testing handled? Are the LOINC codes associated directly in the Referring Laboratory’s database? Or are the LOINC codes captured with the results when received from the Referred Laboratory? Or what other variations are being used?

Hi David,

I would speculate it all depends on the purpose of the receiving lab’s LIS. If it acts as a repository only, the incoming LOINCs from the sendout lab could be obtained from the messages. If further outbound messages of sendout lab results can be created to communicate in a network, it might be necessary to house the LOINCs in the same fashion as the inhouse LOINCs, to facilitate message generation. This latter scenario is what we see with most of our clients.

These can be collected from past sendout Lab HL7s, or ask the sendout lab for a list of their LOINC codes. ARUP includes them in the interface publications on their website. I’m told Mayo has them available online as well. Quest and LabCorp will provide them upon request.

It does add to the maintenance requirements for your site’s LOINC administrator. In addition to tracking inhouse changes and LOINC version changes, the sendout lab test changes have to be tracked too.

Hope this helps clarify.

What would be the process if we are receiving results from a reference laboratory and scanning them into the patient’s file. We are not entering individual results for the panel. We are just scanning the result. Do we need a LOINC code? We will be getting results from Mayo Clinic for a Hypoglycemic Agent Screen but we are scanning in the document. Is there a generic ref lab panel that can be used for these situations or do we still need the LOINC for all individual components of the panel? Thank you!