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Chemistry and Human Health Division (VII)


Number: 2001-058-1-700

Title: Concepts and structure for requests in clinical laboratories

Task Group
Urban Forsum

Members: Pedro Soares de Araujo, René Dybkaer, Antonin Jabor, Wolf R. Külpmann, and Gunnar Nordin

Completion Date: 2007 - project completed

Defining concepts and outlining structures for requests in Laboratory Medicine taking into consideration the former C-NPU commission's nomenclature and syntactic rules. The C-NPU commission, maintained as a joint IFCC-IUPAC activity for two decades, has as its main task to promote and maintain scientifically and conceptually sound ways of expressing the outcome of measurements and other examinations in laboratory medicine. The NPU coding scheme and vocabulary, based on the SI system, concepts theory and high-level international standards, is the main outcome and should be the cornerstone for expressing measurements within international communication standards.

> See former Series on Properties and Units in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences

The background, previous recommendations, and technical reports are accessible from the link above.
In laboratory medicine measurements and other examinations are made in the context of requests from physicians and reports back to the physicians. The request for measurements and examinations is typically embedded in a request to the laboratory phrased in the medical language of the requester and using conceptual dimensions and granularity levels appropriate to a particular patient's case and the discipline of the requester. Requests usually are formatted within the framework of an electronic health care record system (or as a paper request), are transmitted using an electronic health care information system carried via a communication standard protocol (i.e. HL-7 or Med-RPT) to the laboratory and, at the laboratory, are subjected to further scrutiny for conceptual dimensions and granularity levels. In the project, a solution for the problem of dealing with the request concept in at least three contexts - health care information system, communication standard, and clinical laboratory - will be sought. The strong context dependency of the part of the request containing the medical information and questions asked is in contrast to the part dealing only with measurements or other examinations, but the two are clearly related.

The framework for the logics of how to express and formulate metrologically sound rules that links the examinations required to the medical part of a request is the main outcome of this project. The project conforms to the IUPAC strategic goals 2 and 4 i.e. to promote standardized nomenclature, symbols, terminology and methodology in the chemical sciences as well as to facilitate the development of effective channels of communication in international chemistry community.

Project completed
U. Forsum and D. Karlsson, Terminology, categories and representation of examinations in laboratory medicine. Clin. Chem. Lab. Med. 2005;43.344-345 (doi:10.1515/CCLM.2005.060)


Last Update: 13 February 2007

<project announcement published in Chem. Int. 24(6) 2002>


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