Friday, November 6, 2009
Cool Technology of the Week
On November 4, I met with my director of IS at Needham hospital and we discussed the effort involved in creating a lab ordering/resulting dictionary that links together clinician offices, Meditech sites, and commercial labs. Imagine a spreadsheet with 3 columns of lab codes that is 12000 lines long!
Clem McDonald, who oversees the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications at NLM and is the developer of Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, Codes (LOINC). Using data from several sources, including the Indiana HIE, United Healthcare and a few other sources, Clem and his team were able to identify a set of about 300 LOINC order codes that cover about 98 - 99% of the most common laboratory orders.
On November 2, several members of the HITSP Care Management and Health Records TC met at the National Library of Medicine to discuss the development of a value set for creating an common interoperable set of laboratory order codes. Present at this meeting was an unprecedented collaboration of people representing healthcare providers, laboratory vendors, HIT Vendors, HIE developers and payers.
You'll find the details in Keith Boone's blog.
When I described the notion of a single lab compendium for the country, eliminating the need for custom mappings at every institution and clinician's office, my Director of IS agreed - that's cool!
Let's hope we can get rapid adoption of a universal lab ordering compendium in labs, hospitals, and clinician offices. Time and money will be saved, quality and safety will improve.
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM