Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) is meant to be a universal language for laboratory tests. Every institution may have its own set of identifiers or names for a given assay, but the common LOINC language makes it much easier to communicate these results with other labs, universities, government entities, etc.
LOINC codes are very specific and are based on six components: the test component (what's being measured), property (mass, volume, etc), time (point, 24-hour collection), system (serum, tissue, plasma), scale (quantitative, ordinal), and method. For the most part, the LOINC committee prefers that test methods be considered very broadly. Codes do not vary by manufacturer unless there is a significant difference in method. LOINC evolves as new codes are suggested, or duplicates are removed. In a sense, LOINC is like spoken language in that common usage defines proper usage.
Because of the complexities, Helena does not provide a list of LOINC codes for our assays, but we are glad to guide you and suggest resources to determine the best fit for your situation. Ideally, every lab has identical codes. LabCorp, Quest, Mayo, and ARUP use LOINC. LabCorp, Mayo and ARUP publish their code list online. This may be the simplest place to find a relatively small number of codes. If you need a large number of codes, you need "mapping".
Mapping is the process of translating each institution's own LIS codes into LOINC. RELMA (Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant) is a free, downloadable software program designed to help users figure out how to translate all their codes. In addition to simply searching, the RELMA program can automatically link your pre-existing codes to the selected LOINC codes. This is unquestionably the simplest and fastest way to begin implementing LOINC.
There are a number of online tutorials, webinars and one-day workshops available. All official training and services associated with LOINC are free. Helena is here to help too. Below is a list of available resources to help you implement LOINC at your institution. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Jessica W. Hanka, MD, MPH
Technical Services Manager
The purpose of this communication is to provide information in regard to the proper use of a medical diagnostic product or products manufactured by Helena Laboratories Corporation. This communication is not intended for use and cannot be used as: (i) medical advice, (ii) a medical diagnosis or prognosis, (iii) advice or recommendations with respect to treatment or prevention of any illness, disease or medical condition, or (iv) a substitute for medical or other professional advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider.
Because of the complexities, Helena does not provide a list of LOINC codes for our assays, but we are glad to guide you and suggest resources to determine the best fit for your situation.
Information regarding free training meetings
The main LOINC site with an explanation of the history, purpose, etc. This is also where you can download the RELMA software.
Manual for the RELMA software
Information on how to get started
LabCorp LOINC codes
Mayo Clinic LOINC codes
ARUP LOINC codes