Health Language Blog

The Importance of Standardized Healthcare Terminology

Posted on 09/14/16 | Comments

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of leveraging administrative data for better quality assessment. As the wrap-up to this standards blog series, I want to look back at Crossing the Quality Chasm as a foundational work for improving the quality of healthcare delivery. This paper called not only for better quality but also for a reduction in the cost of that care--this at a time when the population is aging, technology is evolving, and research is rapidly expanding evidenced-based medicine. At least eight of the 13 recommendations made by the authors of Crossing the Quality Chasm directly involve the collection, aggregation, and actionable use of healthcare data. The remaining five are supporting those objectives through the development of committees that address quality care and reimbursement models, and in training the workforce to meet the increasing needs of an industry that is becoming more and more reliant on data and analytics.

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Topics: ICD-10, SNOMED, LOINC, RxNorm, semantic interoperability, billing, Administrative Data

LOINC: A Better Path to Laboratory Data Exchange

Posted on 08/17/16 | Comments

Part Three of our Terminology Standards series we introduced SNOMED CT as a comprehensive standard for exchanging clinical content in an accurate, meaningful way. In this installment, we explore use of LOINC for exchange of laboratory and clinical information.

Value-based care models demand more collaborative care delivery built on the timely sharing of critical patient information, such as labs, vital signs, or clinical documents. Because data is represented in different ways across local and disparate systems, healthcare organizations face notable challenges to sharing, exchanging, and aggregating data in an accurate, meaningful way.

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Topics: Standard terminologies, LOINC, data normalization

The Benefits of Mapping CPT to LOINC

Posted on 05/04/16 | Comments

Payer-based care and utilization management programs are essential for managing member health, closing care gaps, and managing risk. Research data indicates that capturing members’ vast healthcare histories and normalizing that information for consumption can enable a care management program that enhances the effectiveness of provider-based care initiatives.

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Topics: LOINC, Payers, mapping, CPT, Care management

Why LOINC Promotes Semantic Interoperability

Posted on 09/17/15 | Comments

With such a strong industry-wide focus on the need to meet meaningful use standards, it’s easy to forget that terminology standardization has value for a provider beyond the big-picture goals of regulatory bodies. This is certainly true in the case of LOINC®, the standardized terminology used for reporting laboratory results.

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Topics: LOINC

Why Do you Need to Map to LOINC?

Posted on 06/18/15 | Comments

The bulk of the recent media attention directed at clinical terminology standards has, for quite obvious reasons, been focused on thethe impending October 1, 2015 deadline for ICD-10 conversion. SNOMED, the terminology meant to standardize the way interactions between patients and clinicians are recorded in EHRs,also often gets mentioned in the context of their relative relationship to the ICD-10 overhaul. But despite all the buzz surrounding these high-profile terminologies and their impact on the future of health care, it’s important for providers to remember that Meaningful Use standardsapply to more than just attestation these days.

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Topics: LOINC

2013 Terminology Trend Watch: A Mid-Year Update

Posted on 06/12/13 | Comments

At the beginning of the year, we presented three terminology management trends to watch for in 2013. You can read the full post here, but in summary, we predicted that the trends providers would be most focused on this year would involve: Meaningful Use; ICD-10; and a lesser discussed concept, Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs). 

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Topics: Meaningful use, ICD-10, HCCs, LOINC, Hierarchical Condition Categories, Trends, technology, RxNorm

Three Considerations When Mapping Your Lab Catalogue

Posted on 06/03/13 | Comments

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC®) has been named as a standard in both Stage One and Stage Two Meaningful Use.  Earlier posts have discussed the utility and importance of LOINC as a standard.  LOINC has been used sporadically by some organizations, but full use of LOINC is coming into its own. 

As with the journey of a thousand miles, taking that first step on the catalog mapping project is truly the hardest part. To make your journey a bit easier, here are three first steps to consider: 

  • Do you understand LOINC?
  • Do you understand data?
  • What are the right resources and tools to use?
1.     Understanding LOINC

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Topics: Meaningful use, LOINC, Meaningful use stage 2, Meaningful use requirements, Coding Challenges, lab cataloguing

The Emerging Role of Clinical Terminology Management for Payers

Posted on 05/03/13 | Comments

With the internal transition to ICD-10 well underway for most payers, now is the time to shift your focus to other industry initiatives, such as Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The move to ICD-10 has provided your organization with a breadth of granular codes, and it’s critical that you determine how best to incorporate these codes in your data strategy in order to maximize the benefits of this detailed patient and billing information.

Along with federal legislation, the rise in health information exchanges, ACOs and health insurance exchanges has shed light on the importance of data normalization beyond ICD-10. With interoperability at the heart of each of these initiatives, payers and providers alike will be required to use standardized terminologies for documenting and sharing patient information. Some of the most significant benefits of clinical terminology standardization and management for your organization in a value-based healthcare environment include:

  • More timely and accurate provider reimbursement due to consistent code usage;
  • Decreased administrative costs;
  • Streamlined communication with customers; and
  • Enhanced analytics for identifying cost-effective treatments offered by providers and supporting population health management.

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Topics: ICD-10, HCCs, Medical Plans, LOINC, medical terminology management

Understanding HL7 and its Fit with Meaningful Use

Posted on 03/01/13 | Comments

HL7 

While Meaningful Use is on everyone’s mind, semantic interoperability may be an unfamiliar concept. Semantic interoperability, medical vocabulary, Meaningful Use, LOINC ®, and HL7 might seem even more of an alphabet soup.  How do all these pieces fit together and how does it help my organization?

Healthcare is complex. The ability to exchange diverse clinical information generated during delivery of healthcare is essential to ensuring continuity of care and patient safety.  Electronic exchange of information can occur

  • between providers
  • between providers and patients
  • between organizations
  • between care settings

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Topics: Meaningful use, Medical vocabulary, LOINC, HL7, Healthcare interoperability

LOINC and Meaningful Use

Posted on 02/12/13 | Comments

Under the terms of the Health Information Technology (HITECH) Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide incentive payments to health care providers who adopt certified electronic health record technology and use it to demonstrate meaningful use of that technology.

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Topics: Standard terminologies, Medical vocabulary, LOINC, Meaningful use stage 2, Meaningful use requirements