HL7 International announced that a new implementation guide for ELINCS is now available. The new guide uses HL7 2.5.1 as the foundation instead of HL7 v2.4.
ELINCS stands for EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Standards, and it is a specification to refine (or constrain) “standard” HL7 messages to move lab results from labs to physician offices.
Key changes in the ELINCS HL7-R1 specification include:
- Shifts from HL7 v2.4 to HL7 v2.5.1
- Supports sending copies of lab results to other providers
- Supports a broader set of lab tests for which LOINC coding is required
- Outlines special rules for reporting the identifiers of ordered tests (depending on whether systems support unique identifiers for each test ordered on requisition)
- Supports the structured microbiology culture/sensitivity results
Outlined below are several great resources to learn more about the new ELINCS implementation guide:
- Change Summary: ELINCS v1.1 to HL7R1 Change Summary (PDF) – Delivered by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).
- HL7 Press Release: HL7 Standards Are the Foundation and Enablers of Meaningful Use: Version 2.5.1 Implementation Guide for Electronic Laboratory Reporting to Public Health Now Available; Several HL7 Standards Support Meaningful Use (PDF)
- White Paper: Accelerating EMR Interoperability with ELINCS provides a foundation to understand the role of ELINCS.
Each of the above resources are very helpful, especially the change summary. The HL7 press release is interesting to read since it also reviews how HL7 supports the new Meaningful Use requirements. It outlines HL7’s specific support for Stage 1 requirements. In the latter part of the press release, HL7 discusses how it plans to address the healthcare interoperability requirements and challenges identified by the ONC. If you are interested in healthcare standards, it is worth the time to review these resources.
If you need more information, there are several blog posts on HL7Standards.com on sending lab results to EMRs or EHRs. Feel free to search our site to learn more as well.
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