Requesting and Test Sets

Product Vision Statement

The Requesting and Test Sets project is aimed at extending the work already done by the Pathology & Diagnostics programme on the Unified Test List (UTL) and Messaging Specifications (FHIR model), to establish standards for pathology requesting.

The use of named groups of tests (variously called Panels, Profiles, Batteries, Care Sets etc.) is very common, possibly universal, across NHS laboratory services, therefore the project will include include Test Sets (the generic term adopted by this project for named test groups) in its scope.


The overall aims of the project are to-

  1. Extend the Pathology Information Model to meet the core business requirements for requesting. The design will support the NHS strategy to use SNOMED CT for clinical coding
  2. Establish a FHIR Message design for requesting of pathology tests. The design will be based on current FHIR standards (v4)
  3. Investigate the use of Test Sets in laboratory requesting, including-
    1. The core information requirements (information model) for storing definitions of Test Sets and their component tests
    2. Identify the most important Test Sets at a national level, where the definition of importance is likely to be based on the volume of requests for a particular Set, but may also be influenced by other factors such as the need for central reporting of certain activities or results (e.g. notifiable infectious organisms)
    3. Establish the scope for standardising some or all of the "top N" Test Sets at the national level
  4. Investigate common patterns used for Test Set names and definitions to support extension of the Unified Test List (UTL) to include requestable tests and Test Sets

Current Status

Lab Data Review

Several NHS Labs responded directly to our request for Requestable test codes and Test Sets data, in addition some Lab software suppliers have also been able to make data sets available by agreement with their users sites. The majority of these data sets have now been through an initial analysis and are shared on the site in the Lab Data Review folder.

Information on order volumes has been more difficult to acquire and only recently has sufficient data  become available. Some of this information still needds to be analysed. It will be uploaded to the site as soon as the work is completed.

Please use the Requesting and Test Sets Forum to discuss the data and analysis as it progresses.

Sharing Interim Work in Progress

At the request of some of our senior stakeholders we will begin sharing some internal working documents here on the site. It is important to note that these documents represent work-in-progress, they are likely to be incomplete, and may be couched in terms that are not easy to follow without additional explanation. We will be sharing these documents with the user community on the basis that comments and questions are welcome, but please accept that these will often be rough draft or "thinking on paper" documents.

Join the Conversation

The forum below is for general questions and discussion about the Requesting and Test Sets project itself, and on the broader aspects of business process and technical architecture in Pathology Requesting and Reporting in the UK.

Recent Items

No new items in the last 3 months