LOINC® releases new versions twice a year, usually June and December, although there was talk of changing the release months in the latest spring conference (March 9-12, 2021). LOINC recommends that users update to the current version of LOINC audit within 90 days of each release.
Here are some tips to help you with the update process.
- Have an up-to-date local file ideally containing local mnemonics, displays, specimens, units of measure and LOINC terms already identified as a map. This file can also contain those local terms that haven’t yet had a mapped LOINC term.
- Import the latest release of LOINC Core Table into a database such as Microsoft Access or Oracle. The URL https://loinc.org/downloads/loinc-table/ offers the file in .csv or .mdb format.
- Join the two files by an equivalent relationship of the LOINC term column, but specify that all rows of the local file should be retained (i.e., a “left outer join” or simply “left join” where the local file is on the left and the LOINC table is on the right). Search the query output in a variety of ways:
a. Filter for Status not equal to “Active”. Make sure your use case is appropriate for any
“Trial” or “Discouraged” terms that might be found. There should NOT be any
“Deprecated”LOINCs in the query. Address any that are present by reviewing the term;
Regenstrief usually provides the replacement LOINC.
b. Filter by local units column NOT Blank and apply second filter to Scale column
NOT containing QN. If a unit of measure is available locally, the correct mapping is
to a quantitative LOINC.
c. Filter the query output for blank LOINC code and examine each unmapped local term for a
possible LOINC through search.loinc.org.
Update the local file for any changes or additions and distribute the latest version release. Throughout the next six months, update the local file with any new assays added to your system, so the local file will be ready for the new LOINC release.
If you have questions or suggestions for future topics of discussion, or need help implementing or mapping to standard terminologies, please contact us.