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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 6
November 2002


IUPAC Projects

Concepts and Structure for Requests in Clinical Laboratories

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 healthcare record system (or as a paper request) and are transmitted using an electronic health care information system carried via a communication standard protocol (i.e., HL-7 or Med-RPT). In this project, a solution for the problem of dealing with the request concept in at least three contexts–healthcare 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 project is set up to define concepts and outline structures for requests in laboratory medicine, taking into consideration the former commission’s nomenclature and syntactic rules that are meant to promote and maintain scientifically and conceptually sound ways of expressing the outcome of measurements and other examinations in laboratory medicine.

For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Urban Forsum <[email protected]> or visit the Nomenclature, Properties, and Units in Laboratory Medicine subcommittee Web page at <>.


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