Analysis of clinical specimens to obtain information about the health of a patient.

Data Element

Information from the submission form

Specimen Source Site
Body location from where a specimen was obtained. Examples include but are not limited to right internal jugular, left arm, and right eye.


CAP Comment on Specimen Source Site

Data Element: Specimen Source Site
  • Corresponding CLIA Reporting Requirement: Specimen source
  • Description: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) supports the inclusion of this Level 2 data element into USCDI v4 to align with CLIA’s Specimen Source reporting requirement. The CLIA requirements are required for laboratory reporting and should be used as the basis for laboratory and public health reporting standards. 
  • Vocabulary Standard: For the content of the data element, the CAP recommends replacing the LOINC standard with the SNOMED CT standard. LOINC does not adequately represent specimen types or anatomic locations and relationships necessary to represent specimens and their sources, and is not intended for that purpose. SNOMED CT is a relatively complete, well-curated, and actively-managed medical ontology that has excellent coverage of concepts appropriate for description of laboratory specimens and specimen sources, and supports a rich array of hierarchical and other concept relationships.

APHL Comments on ISA 2022

APHL continues to support inclusion of this data element in the Laboratory class of USCDI V4; it is mentioned in CLIA as a “provide as appropriate” element.

Unified Comment from CDC

  • Additional Use Case: This is a standard data item used by central cancer registries in all states. Data received through data exchange from laboratories to central cancer registries for CDC and NCI’s national cancer surveillance systems, as required by law.    
  •  CSTE supports inclusion of this measure into USCDI v3: very useful for laboratory related fields context.

APHL comment to add into USCDIV2

This data element is critical in supporting specimentype information, when more generic types are submitted - for example a joint fuild sample or a tissue sample - rather than supporting a lot of pre-coordinated (and still potentially not detailed enough specimen types) use of source site allows for a clear identification of the sample's location - critical for treating infections and cancer for example. It has been included in V2 messages for a long time (OBR-15.4) and is an RE element in ELR R1.

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