Healthbase Australia Terminology

NEHTAPATH : Australian Terminology for Pathology tests

Reference sets of standardised coded terms for use in pathology test ordering and results reporting. These coded term sets have been developed by NEHTA for use within Australia.

(see also the AUSTPATH codes, developed for use in HL7 v2 messages as per Standards Australia's AS4700.2.)

As part of a unified approach to healthcare terminology, Australia's National E-Health Transition Authority has developed SNOMED reference sets for use in electronic exchange of pathology test information. It is unclear from NEHTA's published literature, how these references sets are to be reconciled with the LOINC based codes commonly used by Australian pathology labs, nor the specific AUSTPATH set promoted by Standards Australia. Moreover, the NEHTA reference sets only supply the SNOMED-CT IDs of the standardised concepts and so participating systems also require a full core distribution of SNOMED-CT in order to obtain the corresponding meaning of each code. On the other hand, by using SNOMED, participating systems could access the rich set of synonyms and relationships provided therein, as well as the additional terms used in many pathology labs to describe organisms, communicable disease variants, neoplasm variants, etc. as well as the specimen types and characteristics not covered by LOINC.

The first release of these NEHTA reference sets occurred in December 2009.

You can find information on the following termsets:-
  1. Australian pathology test request names
  2. Australian pathology test result names
  3. Australian pathology test methods
  4. Australian pathology specimen types
Note: The NEHTAPATH reference sets have been developed to meet only some of the requirements for terminology use in pathology systems and communication in healthcare, including standardising test names and component result names; standardising the naming of test methods; standardising specimen types; standardising the body site from where specimens are obtained; providing codes for each of these names. They are insufficient to meet all the terminology needs. Deployment into systems is also seen by many as a major hurdle.

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