Current versions of LOINC and RELMA released December 28, 2012.
LOINC version 2.42 is the 50th release!
We're very excited to deliver this special edition to you. Since the first release back in 1995 until now, it has been nothing short of extraordinary seeing LOINC adoption grow around the world.
This version contains 71,464 terms, an increase of 775 since the June 2012 version. Approximately 7,563 terms have been edited. A total of 1786 terms have been deprecated.
The majority of edits for this release are in Radiology where terms with a scale of "Nar" are changed to "Doc" to fit with the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) model. This release also includes edits made to several concentration ratio properties. CCrto, MCrto, and SCrto are changed to CRto, MRto, and SRto, respectively, since the volume cancels out when the ratio of measurements is calculated. Additionally, the property for ordinal terms with a method of screen or confirm in the Drug/Tox Class are changed from "ACnc" to "Threshold" since the results (e.g. present/absent) are based on a cutoff or threshold value.
This release includes terms requested by several organizations and instrument vendors across many classes. We added more than 100 terms in the toxicology, chemistry, and hematology classes and more than 40 molecular pathology terms. We've also added more than 50 new radiology terms and several new survey instruments.
LOINC Table changes
As we previously announced, this release also includes two changes to the fields in the LOINC Table:
- The MAP_TO field is no longer be distributed with the LOINC Table. It was originally created to store a single replacement LOINC term number for when a LOINC was deprecated. We later learned that there were times when there was more than one possible replacement term, depending on certain conditions. To address this problem we created a new MAP_TO table (initially released with version 2.34) obviated the need for this field.
- We have added the HL7_ATTACHMENT_STRUCTURE field to the LONIC Table. We've continued to work closely with the HL7 Attachments Work Group to support their mission of developing electronic healthcare claims standards. In the context of attachments covered under HIPAA, the current proposals use LOINC codes in a couple of ways. One way is to identify the attachment type (e.g. a Discharge Summary or Radiology Report) when creating and sending attachments. This new field will help identify which LOINC codes that are approved by the HL7 AWG to be used in this manner and what format they should be sent in: whether as Structured content using the C-CDA or with the Unstructured template of C-CDA. More detail about how this field will be used will be published in an upcoming HL7 supplement document.
Brand new LOINC Table CSV text format
We're very excited to announce that we're launching a brand new distribution format for the LOINC Table: CSV! We mentioned a little while back that this was coming and now we've made it happen. The zip file for this format includes:
- The LOINC table in CSV text format (which opens quite easily in most spreadsheet applications - just watch out for possibly exceeding the maximum number of rows allowed by your program)
- Directories with the scripts and files needed for basic import into Oracle and MySQL databases. Take a look at the readme files in these directories before you launch the scripts. They are pretty basic, so you'll probably want to talk to your DBA or modify them to suit your own environment. But the new file format and these scripts should be enough to get you on your way.
- Other files, including the LOINC License, LOINC Release Notes, MapTo table, and Source Organization table.
NOTE: We're planning to make this format the sole text format distribution as of the December 2013 release.
Use your loinc.org account to download the LOINC Table
We don't think it'll be too much of a bother, but to help us keep track of how the community is using LOINC, you'll now have to login with your loinc.org account to get the LOINC Table (in its variety of formats).
RELMA is now powered by the LOINC community!
Tap the wisdom of the crowd
The major new feature of this release is support for the LOINC Community Mapping project. RELMA now connects to a shared repository of local tests and variables mapped to LOINC codes and has some exciting features that tap into the community wisdom.
Within RELMA you can now see counts of how many others have mapped to a particular LOINC code and the local names of those tests/variables. RELMA also has functions to allow you to contribute your mappings back to this community repository so that others can benefit from your seeing your work.
NOTE: To unlock these features, you'll have to sign up for our study. (Yes, we're pointy-headed academics).
Once you've joined the study on the website and logged into RELMA, the search grid will show two new columns. ComMaps displays the count of local codes from the Community repository mapped to that LOINC. ComInst shows the number of institutions from the Community repository that have mapped to that LOINC code. Both of these counts appear as a hyperlink, which if clicked will take you to a details page showing all the local codes in the repository mapped to that LOINC.
When you've mapped a sufficient number of your local tests to LOINC, an "Upload Mappings" link will appear in the login bar that will allow you to contribute your mappings back into the community repository.
It's all pretty awesome, really.
Other cool stuff we packed into this release
- You can now export the full panel structure (just like our LOINC Panels and Forms File) on the fly for panels selected from the grid. (Works in the panels and forms viewer and a few other places).
- We have totally revamped the HIPAA Claims Attachment section of RELMA to come up to speed with the latest developments from the HL7 Attachments Work Group. You can read about these new features over at http://loinc.org/attachments
- We've added a new search capability to look for various "punctuation" in LOINC names. This field contains the a text version of the non-alphanumeric characters that exist in the 6 core fields of the LOINC name. For example, to only return LOINC terms that contain a "+" character, you would include "punctuation:plus" in your search string. You can read about the various punctuation shortcuts in the RELMA Release Notes. By the way, it also works in our online search app. For example,
- There are a bunch of other changes related to our details pages for the LOINC terms. More information is in the RELMA Release Notes.
- Brand new for this release: Turkish (Turkey)
- Updated in this release: Chinese (China), French (Canada), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain)
Updated LOINC and RELMA License
- Detailed section outlining the allowed use of LOINC content in documents like implementation guides, technical specifications, etc that are distributed publicly (Section 9). We've been getting lots of questions about the recommended/allowed approach when LOINC content is incorporated into another document. This section specifies the attribution required and the need for including one of the official LOINC concept display names with the LOINC code identifiers.