RSNA and Regenstrief Institute Team on Standardizing Radiology Procedure Naming

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Creating a common system of radiology procedure names is an important step in achieving interoperability of radiology test results in electronic medical record systems and health information exchange, say the two organizations

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Oak Brook, Ill., owns and maintains the RadLex™ medical terminology for radiology. The Regenstrief Institute Inc., Indianapolis, owns and maintains the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, or LOINC, terminology standard for medical tests and measurements. And rather than work to have one standard overcome the other, the two organizations will share a contract from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to create a single unified source of names and codes for radiology procedures.

Having common names for procedures will also make it easier for researchers who need to compare radiology data between different sites.

The unification effort will be led by Curtis Langlotz, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania and Daniel Rubin, M.D., of Stanford University, who have chaired the RSNA RadLex committees; and by Daniel Vreeman, DPT, of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine, who directs the development of LOINC.

“Regenstrief is eager to undertake this collaborative work because a comprehensive and widely adopted vocabulary standard will help make radiology procedure data available to clinicians when and where they need it,” Dr. Vreeman stated in the press release. “We believe that LOINC and RadLex complement each other and that a unified model will be mutually beneficial.”

The deadline for the project is March 2015, at which time, the government funding to do this work will run out.