Which Yes/No answer list

There are 33 answer lists containing “yes” and “no.” Many include instrument names; many don’t. If creating a new yes/no question, is there guidance around selecting the best yes/no answer list?

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Current counts of non-deprecated use of 2-value Y/N answer sets (top 7 of 23):

#LOINCs AnswerListId AnswerListName

598 LL361-7 Y/N

300 LL963-0 Y1/N0

115 LL251-0 OASIS_M0200

43 LL365-8 [HL7-0136] Yes|No

24 LL5955-1 Yes 1/ No 0

12 LL1555-3 PhenX10_59

10 LL4175-7 Yes (1) | No (0) | If no, record time

Hi Jay!

Hope you are doing well. When it comes to the answer lists, there’s more to consider than just Yes/No. You’ll note there are fields for coding and scoring of copyrighted assessments or measurements. The numbers in parentheses behind Yes in some of these indicate the numeric value of having a Yes vs a No for a particular algorithm.

If you don’t need survey codes or scoring tied to your answer list, that brings it down in size to evaluate.

The next step would be to look at the possible reasons to not answer (refused to answer, no answer, unknown, etc).

Hope this helps somewhat. I haven’t tried to export the LL for examination, but maybe Regenstrief can offer the blandest Y/N list available…

All the best,




Thanks, Pam!

Looks like, for a 2-value set, only 5 have neither specific semantics nor scores, and all but one have “local codes.” Leaving LL361-7 - Y/N, which is by far the most commonly used.

Still confirming we don’t need nulls.

Luckily There is no need for nulls :smile:

Hi Jay,

This can be a bit of a challenge. As Pam pointed out, there are several things to take into consideration, such as the following:

  1. The answerlistlink file determines which answer list is assigned to which LOINC code. This allows for multiple answer lists to be associated with a single LOINC code. In addition to making the link between the LOINC code and the answer list, this file also contains the binding strength (i.e. example, preferred, and normative) for the answer list to a given LOINC code.

  2. The AnswerstringID, localAnswercode, and and Display text, as well as other fields from the LOINC answerlist file, will also help to determine an appropriate answer list.

It may be more advisable to look at the AnswerstringID and create a new answer list for your use case. There are only 3 to take into consideration that I am able to find:

LA15167-2 N
LA32-8 No
LA33-6 Yes

In order to prevent a pre-existing answer list from being changed by the owner and to be able to set and manage the binding strength for your specific use case, It may likely be best to request a new answer list be created and then supply the individual answerstringIDs that you would like to include in that answer list.

I hope that helps a bit.


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