I have a question regarding drug screens and using the screening method LOINC code. Often times drug screens are just called for example, Benzodiazepines, serum/plasma, Qualitative screen. I think I should use the methodless LOINC code, 3389-3. When would it be appropriate to use the screening method LOINC code, 46976-7? These codes appear to be the came to me with the exception of the method. Is the most correct choice 3389-3?
If a lab has different result fields for the screen and confirmation of a drug assay, then it’s easy to justify the use of the method LOINCs for screening and confirmation of each drug class. On the other hand, if the lab uses the same result field for either screen or confirmation, it makes sense to use the methodless LOINC code.
The LOINC User’s Guide provides a lot of guidance on the different reporting formats, starting in section 3.8.