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Identifying the Clinical Laboratory Tests from Unspecified "Other Lab Test" Data for Secondary Use.
Clinical laboratory results are stored in electronic health records (EHRs) as structured data coded with local or standard terms. However, laboratory tests that are performed at outside laboratories are often simply labeled "outside test" or something similar, with the actual test name in a free-text result or comment field. After being aggregated into clinical data repositories, these ambiguous labels impede the retrieval of specific test results. We present a general multi-step solution that can facilitate the identification, standardization, reconciliation, and transformation of such test results. We applied our approach to data in the NIH Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS) to identify laboratory tests, map comment values to the LOINC codes that will be incorporated into our Research Entities Dictionary (RED), and develop a reference table that can be used in the EHR data extract-transform-load (ETL) process.