ELINCS: Faster lab results

December 8, 2006

You've probably never heard of ELINCS, which stands for EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Specification, but it may make it easier for you to get labs online. Developed by reference laboratories, EHR vendors, government agencies, and professional associations with support from the California Healthcare Foundation, ELINCS standardizes the formatting and coding of electronic lab results. So eventually, any EHR should be able to receive ELINCS-coded results without a special interface.

You've probably never heard of ELINCS, which stands for EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Specification, but it may make it easier for you to get labs online. Developed by reference laboratories, EHR vendors, government agencies, and professional associations with support from the California Healthcare Foundation, ELINCS standardizes the formatting and coding of electronic lab results. So eventually, any EHR should be able to receive ELINCS-coded results without a special interface.

The first step in this direction is expected to occur next year, when the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology plans to start requiring certified EHRs to receive results in the ELINCS format. ELINCS is also included in the 30 interoperability standards that the Healthcare IT Standards Panel recently submitted to the American Health Information Community, which advises the Department of Health and Human Services on IT issues.