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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010 May-Jun;17(3):283-7. doi: 10.1136/jamia.2009.001180.

An evaluation of medical knowledge contained in Wikipedia and its use in the LOINC database.

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Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


The logical observation identifiers names and codes (LOINC) database contains 55 000 terms consisting of more atomic components called parts. LOINC carries more than 18 000 distinct parts. It is necessary to have definitions/descriptions for each of these parts to assist users in mapping local laboratory codes to LOINC. It is believed that much of this information can be obtained from the internet; the first effort was with Wikipedia. This project focused on 1705 laboratory analytes (the first part in the LOINC laboratory name). Of the 1705 parts queried, 1314 matching articles were found in Wikipedia. Of these, 1299 (98.9%) were perfect matches that exactly described the LOINC part, 15 (1.14%) were partial matches (the description in Wikipedia was related to the LOINC part, but did not describe it fully), and 102 (7.76%) were mis-matches. The current release of RELMA and LOINC include Wikipedia descriptions of LOINC parts obtained as a direct result of this project.

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