A rationale for parsimonious laboratory term mapping by frequency

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2007 Oct 11;2007:771-5.


Mapping local observation codes to a standard vocabulary provides a bridge across the many islands of data that reside in isolated systems, but mapping is resource intensive. To help prioritize the mapping effort, we analyzed laboratory results reported over a thirteen month period from five institutions in the Indiana Network for Patient Care. Overall, more than 4,000 laboratory observation codes accounted for almost 49 million results. Of the observations reported in the thirteen months, 80 codes (2%) accounted for 80% of the total volume from all institutions and 784 codes (19%) accounted for 99% of the volume from all institutions. The 244 to 517 observation codes that represented 99% of the volume at each institution also captured all results for more than 99% of the patients at that institution. Our findings suggest that focusing the mapping effort on this modest set of high-yield codes can reduce the barriers to interoperability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Information Systems*
  • Forms and Records Control* / methods
  • Indiana
  • Information Services
  • Laboratories, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes*
  • Medical Record Linkage*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized