Joint workshop in Berlin sets signal for cross-sector standardization

On December 17th 2018, the workshop “LOINC: Digitalisation in the Laboratory medicine requires uniform coding” took place in Berlin. More than 100 experts from science, medical care and industry discussed the potential of LOINC-coded laboratory data for digitalisation in the health care system together with representatives of politics and actors of the German health care system in Berlin. The full-day workshop was organized under the German medical informatics initiative by DGKL (German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine), DIMDI (German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information) and TMF (Technology, Methods and Infrastructure for Networked Medical Research). At the beginning MIRACUM member and speaker of the working group “Interoperability” Prof. Dr. Thomas Ganslandt presented the German medical informatics initiative. In addition to the advantages of coding, the workshop also pointed out its current limitations. For example, LOINC coding alone is not sufficient for the interpretation of laboratory results. Additional information on laboratory analysis such as the measuring system, the unit, the time stamp or patient-related data must be used. The workshop participants agreed that politicians were called upon to support digitalisation in laboratory data exchange in the short term through legal deadlines and incentives for service providers, including the establishment of suitable authorized coordination structures and moderation processes.