Call for Feedback on LOINC Groups

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    Swapna Abhyankar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you for your interest and comments about the LOINC Group work.

    I completely agree with you that having the same ID over time is essential, and starting with the December 2017 Group release, the Group IDs (LG numbers) have been stable, so that the LG numbers for a Group in the December release is the same as the LG number for that Group in the new June (2.64) release.

    The file you originally looked at (LOINC_2.61_GroupFile_Alpha_1_grouped_with_counts) was not part of our official release package, though it did contain content from our initial alpha release. It was created by our colleagues at NLM and posted by Dan Vreeman in this same thread on July 5, 2017. Because the counts file wasn’t part of our official release, it did not come with the Readme and Release notes, which specifically said that users should expect the contents of the file to change. Given that it was the first release of the Group work, we did not know what feedback we would get or how the structure or contents of the file would change, so we wanted to be able to change any part of it for the next release.

    For the December 2017 release, we significantly changed the structure of the Group release artifact (from one CSV to several) in order to decrease data redundancy and make the contents more computable. In the Release notes for that release, we said that starting with that version, the LG numbers would persist.

    The version of the file with the counts is not part of our official release package because given its formatting, subtotal functions, and hidden rows, it cannot easily be uploaded into a database or used for data analysis, and similarly, creating the file is a manual effort.

    I hope this information helps, and be assured that going forward (starting with December 2017), the LG numbers are stable.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Rebecca Ettien

    Hi Swapna,

    Thank you very much for your prompt and helpful reply.

    I was thinking that was probably the case about the GroupID.  I did notice they were the same for 2.63 – 2.64.  That document for 2.61 was such a great view of the Loinc groups.  I understand not having the resources or the need to create it for each release.

    I’m wondering what your response is to the second part of my inquiry about what is the best way to view and consume the data for clinical observables?   What, if any, of the downloadable content is the most useful for the clinical use case?

    Also, I was wondering why the decision was made to exclude challenge codes from the groups?  Or body site codes?  As a clinician, I would want to view and consume all of the codes for documenting of vital signs, say, for example, systolic blood pressure-sitting or Ulnar artery – left Systolic blood pressure.

    Is there an efficient way to view and aggregate clinical observations, specifically, physiologic (e.g. ejection fraction) and physical (e.g. measurements) observations?  I know that there are the Panels in RELMA but the codes are not viewable with that function.  Perhaps a component to filter on?  Being a nurse, I am not interested in the Lab codes.

    Again, thank you so much for your time and attention to my inquiry.



    Swapna Abhyankar

    Hi Rebecca,

    Regarding the best way to view and consume clinical observables data, that will depend on your local implementation of the Groups and your EHR system. And please keep in mind that the LOINC Groups must be reviewed and validated for your specific use case.

    Looking at the Parent Groups should help you decide which ones might be useful for your particular use case because the Parent Group name will tell you whether the individual Groups are related to laboratory, radiology, vital signs, etc.

    We were creating Groups based on our clinical experience and feedback we have received from the LOINC Community over time. It is still a work in progress, and we haven’t deliberately excluded any particular types of LOINC codes, such as challenge terms, except maybe from specific existing Group definitions where including the challenge terms did not seem useful for that particular Group.

    If there are Groups that you think would be useful, such as a broader vital signs grouping, please submit your ideas through our Groups Community submission portal (

    You can search by any of the 6 major LOINC Parts (as well as many other fields) in both RELMA and So for example, if you are looking for ejection fraction codes, use Component:”Ejection fraction”. This search will return radiology codes for cardiac studies as well as ejection fraction measurements. If you want to restrict by the measurements, add the scale to the search, e.g., Component:”Ejection fraction” Scale:Qn.

    If in general you want to exclude all laboratory terms, you can add -Type:1 to all of your searches. The RELMA and online search help both have a lot of information about search strategies, including which fields you can search on and how to include and exclude terms from your search.

    Thanks again for your interest in the LOINC Groups!

    Anum Mian

    Hello, is the LOINC group file still available to download?

    Tim Briscoe

    Hi Anum,

    Yes, the file is still available as part of our complete LOINC file, available at The Group file remains in Beta. You can also search Groups at

    Anum Mian

    Thanks so much, Tim! There are a number of LOINC codes that do not belong to a group or a parent group. Is this due to ongoing work to place such codes into existing or new groups?


    Thank you.

Viewing 6 posts - 16 through 21 (of 21 total)
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