We have a list of orders and components for which there are no LOINC codes in the regenstrief database. Has anyone found a way to flag these as something that has been reviewed but there is no LOINC code for it at this time? We looked through regenstrief and couldn’t find such a LOINC. We are concerned that our stats will not look good on the meaningful use reports because of these. We would like to assign some kind of LOINC to prevent the stats from looking bad.
It is necessary to make submissions for codes that aren’t represented currently in the database. Check out the Users’ Manual Copyright Notice and License Item 6 for the mention of interim X codes as a placeholder. Use the RELMA tool to make necessary submissions.
Out of curiosity, is your laboratory of a specialty nature? Are you using the LOINC codes provided by your referral laboratories? The nature of mapping only the in house codes, and basic chemistries, serologies, hematologies, etc. at the result level do not usually encounter the issue being described. Our experiences at 3M have found a higher level of completion at the result code level than the order code level. The recent guidelines created by the Standards & Interoperability Work Group aLOINC Order Code have helped, and communications with Regenstrief continues.
Not aware of any flags, but are you asking for a LOINC code that implementers could utilize to indicate that a LOINC code is unavailable for the term being mapped?
There are gaps in order LOINCs. Some have been submitted by the ONC S&I framework aLOINC group and others already working on orders. As discussed at the recent LOINC meeting and as Pam mentions, the performing laboratory should submit these as soon as possible to Regenstrief. It takes time to develop terms and codes and the sooner requests are made, the better.
A term as you suggest would dilute out the value of Meaningful Use; the code itself could not isolate a particular assay for data mining. It also misrepresents the granularity that is within the database. The X Local codes alluded to above could be created locally; although a submission to Regenstrief is optimal suggestion. Please email or call for a quicker conversation to explain further and get you started in either direction.