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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

LOINC Mapper's Guide to the Top 2000+ Lab Observations

This crossed my desk this morning. This is a useful value set of laboratory observation codes developed from millions of lab reports. While they don't say who the organizations are, I can guess that its the same set of organizations that contributed data to the Common Lab Order value set (found on the same page at the link below). I know that includes information from both hospital and ambulatory providers from across the US.

These are good value sets. They should be looked at by the HIT Standards Committee for meaningful use stage 2. I would hope that the ONC SIframework Lab Results Interface Initiative project also considers them.

The LOINC Development Team is proud to announce the release of a new
resource, the "LOINC Mapper's Guide to the Top 2000+ Lab Observations",
that is available at:

We've created an empirically-based list of the most common LOINC result
codes and written up a Mapper's Guide that contains a wealth of advice
and guidance about which codes to choose for which purpose. The Top
2000+ list contains result codes that cover about 98% of the test volume
carried by 3 big organizations who've mapped to LOINC. We think it will
be a great starter set for beginning your mapping. We've written up a
detailed Introduction document that explains how this guide was
developed, which you can download along with the Mapper's Guide (in pdf
and xlsx format) and/or a simple list of the Top 2000+ terms (in csv
format). All of these are available at no cost from the LOINC website.
As always, we welcome feedback...just send your comments to:

Happing LOINCing!
Kind Regards from the LOINC Development Team


  1. Is technology finally catching-up with paper?

    My docs have specialty-oriented paper forms from a national lab company that lets them order the most common tests as checkboxes. There is a blank space for them to write-in the name of any other test, which is dutifully coded and entered at the lab collection site. It takes only a few seconds for the doc to fill-out.

  2. Every [lab] company will let you order using their own product codes. Think of this as standardized labeling of those products across vendors, e.g., 10W40 for motor oil.

  3. Thanks for the kind words, Keith. Just wanted to let you and your readers know that the last page of the Introduction to the LOINC Mapper's Guide to the Top 2000+ Lab Observations lists the "Data Sources" -- the organizations that contributed data for the top 2000+ value set. You can get to the Introduction from the LOINC web page you list above, and here is the direct link: