ORU – Observation Result Message

What is ORU Message?

  1. In the HL7 Standard, an Observation Result (ORU) is usually in response to an order and provides clinical observations. HL7 messaging, ORU messages provide structured patient-oriented clinical data between systems.
  2. ORU messages are also sometimes used to register or link to clinical trials, or for medical reporting purposes for drugs and devices.The ORU message is a structured report where each observation is separated into an individual entity, and then separated into fields.
  3. ORU messages do not carry images; they use varying data types but most often use text, numbers and codes

Types of observations reported in the ORU-R01 message include:

  • Clinical lab results
  • Imaging study reports
  • EKG pulmonary function study results
  • Patient condition or other data (i.e. vital signs, symptoms, allergies, notes, etc.)

The HL7 OBR segment: is used in all ORU messages as a report header, and contains important information about the order being fulfilled (i.e. order number, request date/time, observation date/time, ordering provider, etc.). This segment is part of a group that can be used more than once for each observation result that is reported in the message.
The HL7 OBX segment: transmits the actual clinical observation results as a single observation or observation fragment. OBX segments can also be used more than once in the message, and may be followed by one or more NTE segments to provide additional notes and comments about the observation.

Sample Message:

MSH|^~\&|LCS|LCA|LIS|TEST9999|199807311532||ORU^R01|3629|P|2.2
PID|2|2161348462|20809880170|1614614|20809880170^TESTPAT||19760924|M|||^^^^
00000-0000|||||||86427531^^^03|SSN# HERE
ORC|NW|8642753100012^LIS|20809880170^LCS||||||19980727000000|||HAVILAND
OBR|1|8642753100012^LIS|20809880170^LCS|008342^UPPER RESPIRATORY
CULTURE^L|||19980727175800||||||SS#634748641 CH14885 SRC:THROA
SRC:PENI|19980727000000||||||20809880170||19980730041800||BN|F
OBX|1|ST|008342^UPPER RESPIRATORY CULTURE^L||FINALREPORT|||||N|F||| 19980729160500|BN
ORC|NW|8642753100012^LIS|20809880170^LCS||||||19980727000000|||HAVILAND
OBR|2|8642753100012^LIS|20809880170^LCS|997602^.^L|||19980727175800||||G|||
19980727000000||||||20809880170||19980730041800|||F|997602|||008342
OBX|2|CE|997231^RESULT 1^L||M415|||||N|F|||19980729160500|BN
NTE|1|L|MORAXELLA (BRANHAMELLA) CATARRHALIS
NTE|2|L| HEAVY GROWTH
NTE|3|L| BETA LACTAMASE POSITIVE
OBX|3|CE|997232^RESULT 2^L||MR105|||||N|F|||19980729160500|BN
NTE|1|L|ROUTINE RESPIRATORY FLORA

Fields & Description:

ORU Message

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