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ELINCS Specification

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Publication Date: October 2006

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services administration)

Type: Report

Abstract:

Version 1.0 The EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Specification (ELINCS) project published ELINCS version 1.0 in July 2005. The specification is an HL7 v2.4-based message profile for the reporting of lab results from laboratory information systems to electronic health records (EHRs) in the outpatient setting.

The goal of the ELINCS project is to provide precise and generally applicable lab-reporting specifications that can be adopted as an industry standard, thereby obviating the need for clinical laboratories and ambulatory EHR systems to define anew each interface that is implemented. The ELINCS specification was developed through a collaborative process that involved representatives from EHR vendors, commercial laboratories, hospital lab information system vendors, and government bodies. See the ELINCS Committee members.

The California HealthCare Foundation is overseeing five implementation projects in California. The participants consist of laboratories, EHR vendors, and health care organizations partnering to develop live laboratory interfaces using ELINCS v1.0. Some of these projects are now running ELINCS interfaces in a live environment. Version 1.1 ELINCS v1.1 was published in October 2006 as a minor update to v1.0. The ELINCS v1.1 update includes changes to address three requirements.

First, changes were made to the specification as part of a "lessons learned" effort from the v1.0 pilot implementation projects. Second, requirements have been added to support the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) regulations. Finally, corrections and modifications were made to allow true compatibility with future versions of the ELINCS Specification.

More information about the changes in ELINCS version 1.1 may be found under Document Downloads below. ELINCS v1.1 was submitted to the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) and has been included in their proposed final certification criteria for ambulatory electronic health records for spring 2007. Version 2.0 Draft A draft of ELINCS version 2.0, issued in February 2006, is provided below for review. The draft is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be regarded or used as a published specification. Modifications may still be made to this draft specification prior to release. ELINCS v2.0 is an extension of version 1.1 that adds features to and is backward-compatible with version 1.1. New features include an expanded set of LOINC-coded tests, a structured method for reporting microbiology results, and the ability to designate additional healthcare providers who should receive copies of the laboratory result data.