Getting Started with LOINC
Jumpstart your path to LOINCing prowess.
Resources to help map local terms to LOINC
If you are curious about LOINC, and just want to explore, the best place to start is probably the web-based LOINC search application. You can find it at:
This app is great for searching and identifying LOINC codes, and has a simple yet powerful interface.
If you want to map your local codes to LOINC, we recommend downloading the full version of RELMA (Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant). It gives you a powerful tool for not only searching and browsing LOINC, but also for mapping your local terms to LOINC.
Here are some of RELMA's best features:
- Ability to import a set of local terms from an HL7 message
- Automated process for finding a ranked list of candidate LOINC terms for each local code
- Flexible display options for viewing the details about a particular LOINC
- Built-in interface for creating a submission to Regenstrief for new LOINC codes
- Multilingual searching
- Connection to a community repository of other local tests mapped to LOINC
If you want RELMA and also need the LOINC table in a database format, we recommend downloading the Complete Package. It contains everything needed to run the RELMA program along with the LOINC Table in both MS Access™ database and text formats.
Mapping a large laboratory test catalog
If you are mapping a large set of local laboratory test codes to LOINC, we recommend starting with the LOINC Top 2000+ Lab Observations and Mapper's Guide. The Top 2000+ list represents about 98% of the test volume carried by three large organizations that mapped all of their laboratory tests to the LOINC codes.
Other files to help you use LOINC
LOINC has also created a variety of accessory files to help with the mapping effort. Below are summaries these items, which can be downloaded separately.
- LOINC Multiaxial Hierarchy File. An export of the LOINC Multi-axial hierarchy available in a computable format and distributed in MS Excel.
- LOINC Panels and Forms File. A package of key laboratory and clinical panels and forms (e.g. Consumer Health panels, HL7 Clinical Genetics panels, and Newborn Screening panels) distributed in MS Excel. The file contains:
- Hierarchical structure of the panels
- Individual LOINC terms within each panel
- Structured answer lists for a given LOINC term where applicable
- LOINC Document Ontology File. An export of the LOINC terms in the Document Ontology class (DOC.ONTOLOGY) and the values they contain from each axis of the Document Ontology.
- The axis values are identified by LOINC Part Numbers and classified by their type (Setting, TypeOfService, etc).
More than a database, LOINC is a growing global community.