For what are the LOINC codes for ‘Bacteria #n identified…” where n is a number from 2 to 8 used?
Currently, we are using the codes “Bacteria identified…” for Normal Flora, Quantitations, and Organism Names. In addition, we are coding the actual organism name with SNOMED. So, for example following is how we are coding the results for a sputum culture with normal flora and 2 pathogens. Is this the correct approach?
Section 2.24 of the LOINC User’s Guide describes the 4th subpart of the component. HL7 messaging allows for multiple results for one observation. Some systems, however cannot distinguish separate answers per observation, so they made the test names like organism 1, organism 2 or substance 1, substance 2 to report multiple organisms or substances identified in samples. We do not encourage this type of reporting because that distinction can more clearly be accomplished by using one test name (e.g., organism identified) and the HL7 sub ID to distinguish the multiple organisms/substances. However, we have created a few terms to accommodate systems that bind the distinction into their test names. The fourth subpart of the component name will allow reporting of repeat observations taken at the same time and/or on the same specimen.
We don’t recommend using this model of reporting, but if you do, it is assumed that the 1st isolate will be reported with the corresponding LOINC code that does not contain “^^^”.