LOINC, the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, is a standard for identifying medical laboratory observations. It was created in 1994 by the Regenstrief Institute Inc., an Indianapolis-based research organization affiliated with Indiana University, in response to demand for the electronic movement of clinical data. To do this, LOINC applies names and identifiers to more than 58,000 medical terms that can be kept in an electronic health record.
LOINC is one of several standards used by the United States government to exchange clinical health information, and it has been identified as the preferred standard of the organization Health Level 7 International (HL7). In addition, LOINC, along with the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine -- Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) and HL7’s Reference Information Model, helps define medical concepts in the Clinical Document Architecture markup standard.
The use of SNOMED CT codes is required for meaningful use.