About this item

Issue date:
1 March 2023
Corporate Author:
Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO)
Document date:
1 March 2023
Data set
Copyright status:

Copyright Held by Non-Crown Party


The New Zealand Pathology Observation Code Sets (NZPOCS) standard comprises code sets for ordering and reporting laboratory tests and results.

The code sets are based on international standards Laboratory Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) and SNOMED CT, and cover all commonly performed pathology tests in biochemistry, haematology, immunology, microbiology, virology/serology and toxicology. NZPOCS will be extended to new test types such as molecular tests and multidrug-resistant organism screening tests.

NZPOCS April release

Download the current release that incorporates the latest LOINC.

Changes from previous NZPOCS releases

View the changes from previous NZPOCS releases in the spreadsheets below:

Regular updates to NZPOCS will be published in April and October every year.

HISO expects laboratories and other agencies to have applied the latest release of NZPOCS.

To submit new codes requests or changes email standards@health.govt.nz.

See the LOINC website for more information on the COVID-19 test codes.

Coding for COVID-19 lab tests

LOINC codes are continuously being created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The LOINC codes that are developed between release cycles have a status of ‘special use’.  The codes are still in development and are subject to change, prior to being included in a scheduled release.  The NZPOCS list includes some of these codes.

See the LOINC website for more information on the COVID-19 test codes.

Microorganism code set

NZPOCS has a microorganism code set that includes all concepts in the SNOMED microorganism hierarchy. The code set is published in the SNOMED NZ Edition.

The choice to include code set was agreed in 2018 between HISO, the National Pathology and Laboratory Round Table and the New Zealand Microbiology Network. Laboratory information managers and their industry partners were consulted on the changes at the time.

The code set considerably extends the Royal College of Pathology of Australasia (RCPA) microorganism code set of about 3000 concepts, to provide better cover and avoid difficulties in using and maintaining a restricted set. We will work with our RCPA partners when requesting additions to the microorganism content in SNOMED. 

HISO's expectation is that SNOMED will be implemented in all systems exchanging laboratory information, for end-to-end interoperability that doesn’t depend on mapping. This applies to laboratory information systems and repositories, infection control systems and clinical information systems. See SNOMED CT National Release Centre for further details.


The SNOMED NZ Edition can be downloaded in standard release file format from the SNOMED Member Licensing and Distribution Service. Laboratory information systems need to be loaded with each new release to stay up-to-date with the microorganism code set.

Other developing content in the SNOMED NZ Edition includes the RCPA laboratory order code set.

The SNOMED browser and the SNOMED reference set tool are available to end users and developers for viewing and downloading content such as the microorganism code set.

Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

LOINC terms of use

This material contains content from LOINC (http://loinc.org). LOINC is copyright © 1995-2023, Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Committee and is available at no cost under the license at http://loinc.org/license.