Universal Laboratory Order Codes from LOINC

The Universal Lab Order Codes Value Set (a.k.a. Common Lab Orders) from LOINC is a collection of the most frequent lab orders. It was created for order entry system developers so that they could deliver them in HL7 messages to laboratories. On receipt, laboratories could be understand and translate these universal codes into their internal processes for fulfillment.

This value set was developed iteratively through both empirical and consensus-driven approaches. The original version was developed by the NLM, Regenstrief Institute, and several organizations and contained an empirical list of the most commonly ordered tests. We often called that list the "Top 300", because it contained about 300 codes that accounted for the majority of the volume of five nationally-representative data sources.

In 2014, S&I Framework Initiative called aLOINC Order Code launched with the goal of enhancing and expanding the orginal list to more comprehensively cover tests commonly ordered in ambulatory care settings and for tests ordered in the public health settings. The initative used a combination of empiric and consensus based approaches to identify additional LOINC codes to be added to the original list. You can read more about the methodolgy in the initiative's final report.

The end result of this work is an updated list of LOINC order codes that serves as a good "starter set".

This file does not include any deprecated terms.


These LOINC codes cover more than 95% of lab test orders in the U.S.

aLOINC Order Code

Read the final report from S&I Framework Initiative

Universal Lab Order Codes from LOINC (a.k.a Common Lab Orders Value Set)

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Universal Lab Orders Value Set from LOINC