Background: With the rapid development of new advanced molecular detection methods, identification of new genetic mutations conferring pathogen resistance to an ever-growing variety of antimicrobial substances will generate massive genomic datasets for public health and clinical laboratories. Keeping up with specialized standard coding for these immense datasets will be extremely challenging. This challenge prompted our effort to create a common molecular resistance Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) panel that can be used to report any identified antimicrobial resistance pattern.
Objective: To develop and utilize a common molecular resistance LOINC panel for molecular drug susceptibility testing (DST) data exchange in the U.S. National Tuberculosis Surveillance System using California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and New York State Department of Health as pilot sites.
Methods: We developed an interface and mapped incoming molecular DST data to the common molecular resistance LOINC panel using Health Level Seven (HL7) v2.5.1 Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) message specifications through the Orion Health™ Rhapsody Integration Engine v6.3.1.
Results: Both pilot sites were able to process and upload/import the standardized HL7 v2.5.1 ELR messages into their respective systems; albeit CDPH identified areas for system improvements and has focused efforts to streamline the message importation process.
Discussion: The common molecular resistance LOINC panel is designed to be generalizable across other resistance genes and ideally also applicable to other disease domains.
Conclusion: The study demonstrates that it is possible to exchange molecular DST data across the continuum of disparate healthcare information systems in integrated public health environments using the common molecular resistance LOINC panel.
Keywords: Data Exchange Formats, Electronic Laboratory Reporting, Health Information Exchange, LOINC, Health Level Seven, Public Health Surveillance.