Consortium posts new LOINC spec that boosts interoperability among lab systems and health IT

The IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium published the new standard, LIVD, for mapping in vitro test results directly to codes used for procedures and results.
By Bernie Monegain
02:25 PM
boosting interoperability among lab systems

The IVD Industry Connectivity Consortium, a group working on standardizing data exchange between medical devices and information systems, has published a specification called LIVD that it says will advance health data interoperability by linking structured, coded data directly from diagnostic devices to laboratory information systems and other healthcare technology.

"The main issue from a laboratory point of view is that there wasn't always a one-to-one relationship between a LOINC code and a test you would run on an instrument,” IICC President Serge Jonnaert said in statement. "We aimed to make that a fully plug-and-play solution. However, LAW did not cover vocabulary.”

Now, LIVD maps in vitro test results directly to Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, a code set used for identifying lab procedures and results. 

The Regenstrief Institute, an Indianapolis-based health technology research organization, developed the freely available LOINC code set in the 1990s. Daniel Vreeman, director of LOINC and health data standards at the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics, said the harmonization of IVD outputs with lab coding was part of the early vision.

LIVD is meant to complement the Laboratory Analytical Workflow profile created by Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise International, an initiative for promoting interoperability of electronic healthcare data. The LAW profile contains rules for exchanging orders and results between IVD devices and health IT systems.

Jonnaert said that LIVD and LAW are "two synergistic standards” and LIVD took nine years to develop. Work accelerated last year when the IICC held discussions with multiple parties inside and outside of the U.S. government.

Participants came from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Regenstrief, IVD makers, and software vendors, in a quest to "guarantee a one-to-one relationship," said Jonnaert, who is also managing partner of technology marketing consulting firm Tensei, based in San Clemente, California.

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