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Drug Screens and LOINC

Drug testing remains a consistent part of the laboratory workload. Staying on top of your laboratory LOINC codes
for these drugs will make life easier. Here’s a few quick tips on how to manage them.
Depending on the workflow of your lab’s drug testing routine and structure of your LIS (Laboratory Information System), different LOINCs can be used. Laboratories that use one result field to post BOTH the initial screen and the confirmation would use a method-less LOINC term. If the LIS only has one place to report the drug values,
the drug field could also be method-less:

3427-2 Cannabinoids:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:

3393-6 Benzoylecgonine:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:

3349-8 Amphetamines:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:

 If the laboratory doesn’t perform confirmations, they could use method-less LOINCs or the Screen method:

18282-4 Cannabinoids:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Screen

14314-9 Benzoylecgonine:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Screen

19261-7 Amphetamines:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Screen

If the laboratory adds on reflexive testing to perform the confirmation of positive screens, i.e., the LIS has two places for reporting, then screens and confirmations are used. These will make clear the process of initial testing (method of Screen), followed by a hold, and then final testing to confirm the value of a positive screen in a different LIS field with the Confirm method LOINCs:

19289-8 Cannabinoids:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Confirm

14315-6 Benzoylecgonine:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Confirm

16369-1 Amphetamines:PrThr:Pt:Urine:Ord:Confirm

These LOINC terms of course come in various specimens in such as Serum/Plasma, Meconium, etc. There are also quantitative versions available.


Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions for future topics of discussion, or for help implementing or mapping to standard terminologies.