Improve patient safety through harmonisation

NPU laboratory terminology

The NPU terminology is supported by the IFCC-IUPAC (Sub) Committee on Nomenclature for Properties and Units, which is jointly supported by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC).

 

History of the NPU Terminology

NPU terminology is jointly owned by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The basic principles and structures were published by IFCC and IUPAC in 1995. The system has since then been continually widening its technical basis in clinical laboratory sciences, closely aligned with international standardization work in the area of health informatics. It holds today 16,000 active codes, covering areas of clinical chemistry, clinical immunology and blood banking, clinical microbiology, allergology, thrombosis and hemostasis, molecular biology and genetics, reproduction and fertility, toxicology and clinical pharmacology.

 

NPU use in Denmark, Norway and Sweden

The Danish version of the NPU terminology has been translated and published for national use since 2001. The National eHealth Authority is the National NPU Release Center for Denmark, and serves as the repository for the International version of NPU Terminology.

The use of the NPU terminology is not mandatory in Demark, and other coding systems are in use. But it is recognized as a National Standard, and most laboratory orders and results transmitted via the Danish health data network (MedCom) are NPU identified. Doctors and patients in Denmark may access laboratory results from all over the country via a national laboratory portal, with the NPU coding system as the main identifier.

The Swedish version of the NPU terminology has been used in many laboratories since 2001. The Quality Assessment organization EQUALIS is the National Release Center. NPU use is increasing, and the NPU terminology will be the primary coding system for laboratory information published via the Swedish ‘National Patient Summary (NPÖ).

The Norwegian Directorate of Health serves as the National NPU Release Center for Norway. Nationwide implementation of the NPU terminology was initiated in 2014, with use of the terminology mandatory for all laboratory fields.