For urinalysis dipstick, about 98% of our results are from automated test strip. Is it general practice to chose the code that is appropriate the vast majority of the time, or use the more general “test strip”?
Let your site’s priniciple reason for implementing the vocabulary standard guide you. We ask our clients upfront for their reasons in implementing LOINC before we start. If it’s performing health information exchange, keep in mind the more granular you go in attributes and methods, the less exact matches between laboratories. So collation of urinalysis elements between sites may be disjointed. HIE’s that are mapping at their own sites individually are encouraged to plan upfront a common approach to handling the CBC, differentials and urinalysis elements. Then the mappers are pre-directed on paths and have less individual decisions to make. A more united front is made as each lab moves to a collaboration.
However, if you’re participating in renal function research or dialysis effeciveness research within a database, it may be desirable to keep the most granular attributes/methods. Because the analysts are studying the different aspects and need that granularity in place.