PITUS-18-20 Project

Pathology Information, Terminology and Units Standardisation (PITUS-18-20) Project continues the standardisation of pathology requesting and reporting. The Project is fully funded by the Department of Health.

The PITUS-18-20 Steering Committee has co-ordinated the Project. All key stakeholders were represented on the Steering committee.

The Project activities have been split across five working groups:

  1. Evaluation and Promotion will educate and promote SPIA uptake and audit SPIA conformance in pathology reports
  2. Terminology Development will maintain and expand pathology terminology reference sets the with Australian Digital Health Agency and HL7 Australia and provide advice to the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) on pathology reference sets
  3. Systems Design and Compliance will specify systems for maintenance and publication of SPIA artefacts by NCTS, develop FHIR extensions to record terminology related knowledge from SPIA, and devise a system for linkage of terminology to knowledge in Manual and Labtests On-line
  4. SPRC Infostructure and Conformance will develop a model and terminology for four protocols and undertake Informatics External Quality Assurance (IEQA) trial for one protocol
  5. Report Standardisation will develop policy for results flagging and for the grouping of tests in pathology reports.

Standards for Pathology Informatics in Australia (SPIA)
The RCPA Board of Directors have officially endorsed the Standards for Pathology Informatics in Australia (SPIA) and associated information models and terminology reference sets, following internal and public review and endorsement from all of the main stakeholders.

To download the Standards for Pathology Informatics in Australia (SPIA) v3.0 and associated information models and terminology reference sets go to the Downloads page.

Australian Pathology Messaging - Localisation of HL7 Version 2.4

The PITUS 15-16 Project collaborated with HL7 Australia to developed the Australian Pathology Messaging - Localisation of HL7 v2.4, Release 1 was a localisation of the HL7 International messaging standards, which will provide the required information for implementers of electronic pathology messaging in one document.

The DRAFT SPIA Exemplar Reports have been designed to provide laboratory staff and software vendors with visual representations of SPIA compliant reports for a range of disciplines with respect to report formatting.  The inclusion or exclusion of tests, test names, Reference Intervals and the order in which the tests appear on each report are not necessarily meant to be indicative of true report content, merely to demonstrate formatting.

HL7 messages are currently being created to accompany each report and will be published when complete.

Your feedback is important and greatly appreciated; please email any comments on these draft reports to vanessac@rcpa.edu.au

PITUS wg2 contacted Microbiology, Serology, Virology and Molecular Biology experts representing every Australian public and private laboratory to ascertain the scope of sample types, methodologies and reporting units being used for COVID-19 testing after fielding various queries regarding the most appropriate requesting and reporting terminology for SARS-CoV-2.  Subsequently, mappings to all existing SNOMED-CT (requesting ) and LOINC (reporting) terminologies was undertaken, with a gap analysis demonstrating the need for further requesting and reporting terms to be developed for Australian laboratories.

To date a number of RCPA endorsed subsets of SNOMED-CT and LOINC terms have been developed, initially specimen specific, but now more generic.  To improve the quality of national data collection, adoption of the RCPA endorsed SARS-CoV-2 terms by all Australian public and private laboratory providers is highly recommended.  The standardisation of requesting terms improves the ability for clinicians to identify the correct orderable from multiple provider order catalogues as consultations occur across different organisations and clinical settings.   The standardisation and encoding of COVID-19 data not only improves overall data quality, but also allows for greater insights to be derived at a national level for the retrospective analysis of the pandemic, such as geographic distribution of results, hospital acquired infections, quality, or cost of various testing methods, etc.

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