Regenstrief and the RSNA are working together to unify radiology procedures in LOINC and RadLex

Regenstrief Institute and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) have formed a collaborative relationship to unify terms for radiology procedures. The Radiological Society of North America, owns and maintains the RadLex™ medical terminology for radiology, and the Regenstrief Institute Inc. owns and maintains the LOINC® terminology standard for medical tests and measurements. Creating standardized radiology procedure names will improve the quality, consistency and interoperability of radiology test results in electronic medical record systems and health information exchange. The goal of the project is to produce a single unified source of names and codes for radiology procedures with a cooperative governance process.

The cooperative work involves these broad activities:

  1. Developing a Unified Model for Radiology Procedure Names
    1. Mapping the attribute-values between each terminology (i.e. LOINC Parts to RadLex Playbook RPIDs)
  2. Devising collaborative integrated governance process for new terms
    1. Creating single point-of-contact and governance structure for the unified terminology
    2. Using LOINC codes as the primary identifier for radiology procedures while linking to the RadLex attribute/values for each term so that they can be used as metadata
  3. Develop a software tool for transforming between instances of radiology procedures coded in LOINC and the RadLex Playbook

In September 2013, Regenstrief and RSNA received funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) to begin the cooperative work. The first contract was completed in September 2015, which covered unified names for computed tomography procedures. In October 2015, Regenstrief and the RSNA received an additional two year award to complete the unification work for the procedures names of the other modalities. As the content work in those domains is completed, it will be added to the LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook file published here.

The unified model used by Regenstrief and RSNA in the creation of the Playbook is published in the LOINC Users' Guide (starting with the December 2015 version) as Annex - LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook User Guide.

LOINC/RSNA Radiology Playbook

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