An approach to improve LOINC mapping through augmentation of local test names

Division of Biomedical Informatics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-05, USA.
Journal of Biomedical Informatics (Impact Factor: 2.13). 12/2011; 45(4):651-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2011.12.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mapping medical test names into a standardized vocabulary is a prerequisite to sharing test-related data between health care entities. One major barrier in this process is the inability to describe tests in sufficient detail to assign the appropriate name in Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes (LOINC®). Approaches to address mapping of test names with incomplete information have not been well described. We developed a process of "enhancing" local test names by incorporating information required for LOINC mapping into the test names themselves. When using the Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant (RELMA) we found that 73/198 (37%) of "enhanced" test names were successfully mapped to LOINC, compared to 41/191 (21%) of original names (p=0.001). Our approach led to a significantly higher proportion of test names with successful mapping to LOINC, but further efforts are required to achieve more satisfactory results.

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