New specification available for IVD vendors to link their test codes to LOINC

Indianapolis, IN – June 1, 2017 – The IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium (IICC) today announced the availability of a new specification for digital publication of LOINC to vendor IVD test results. The new specification, called LIVD (for LOINC to vendor IVD), is major advance for interoperability of laboratory data.

The LIVD specification outlines an IVD industry-defined format to facilitate the publication and exchange of LOINC codes for vendor IVD test results, based on either vendor IVD test transmission codes or manual test identification, for use by laboratory personnel or laboratory applications.

As IVD vendors make such mappings available in the LIVD format, it will greatly improve the efficiency and consistency with which laboratories can deploy standard terminology in their information systems. Laboratory personnel will be able to select the appropriate LOINC codes for vendor IVD test results used by their laboratory much more efficiently.

The format can be used as-is by IVD, LIS, and other software systems to automate the mapping between vendor IVD test transmission codes and LOINC codes, significantly reducing the risk of erroneously mapped test results and units of measure (which are recommended to be expressed in LIVD using the UCUM standard).

The LIVD specification was a collaborative effort between the IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium, IHE Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PaLM), Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a result of the Workshops on Promoting Semantic Interoperability of Laboratory Data at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2016.

The enhanced vendor test format contains extended data elements, including the manufacturer, the instrument model, an instrument universal identifier (UID), the vendor transmission code, vendor specimen description, vendor result description, the test name, as well as optional data elements (e.g. a reference ID to the package insert, additional instructions or comments related to the test). The proposed data exchange format uses JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), a lightweight, global industry standard format with a simple syntax that is also human readable.

Download the LIVD specification and related samples from:

The standard LIVD digital format produced by IICC and major IVD manufactures will enable IVD manufactures to distribute electronic mappings between their internal test codes and universal test identifiers (LOINC codes). This effort will accelerate the inclusion of universal LOINC codes in laboratory reports to clinicians and health care systems because it will eliminate the additional laboratory effort now needed to figure out the right LOINC code for each laboratory test. The increasing use of universal LOINC codes in laboratory reports will unleash the same wave of efficiency and quality improvements as bar codes did for grocers and retailers. The effort by IVD manufacturers to produce the LIVD format is a spectacular example of good corporate citizenship that will yield many benefits to the health of the nation.

Clem J. McDonald, MD
Director, Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Institutes of Healths


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