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HL7 OBR Segment

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The HL7 Observation Request Segment (OBR) segment transmits information about an exam, diagnostic study/observation, or assessment that is specific to an order or result. It is used most frequently in ORM (Order) and ORU (Observation Result) messages, and has an important role in carrying the placer and filler order numbers.

An OBR segment should always be included in orders where a request is made for a given set of observations. For lab tests and diagnostic studies, each OBR segment generally applies to a single specimen or diagnostic study only. With lab testing, there may not necessarily be a 1:1 relationship between test and specimen (i.e different test batteries may have multiple OBR segments even though it is a single specimen). ORU (Observation Result) messages should contain the OBR segment followed by the OBX segment for each observation.

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Usage in the ORM Message

In an ORM message, the OBR segment is part of an optional group that provides details about the order. When the order placer creates the ORM message, they will include the Placer Order Number in the OBR-2 and/or ORC-2 fields. These two fields should contain the same information, and at least one of the two must contain the placer order number. The message may contain multiple orders for which the rules still apply.

The OBR segment (show in red)  from an ORM message is shown below:

ORC|NW|2156286|||||||20060221061809|^MOUSE^MINNIE^A^^^RN||TBU^BUTLER JR


OBR|1|2156286||MRSHLR-C^MR Shoulder right wo/contrast|||||||||R/O RCT VS TENDONITIS|||TBU^BUTLER JR


* Note that the Placer Order Number in the OBR-2 matches the Placer Order Number in the ORC-2.

Usage in the ORU Message

In an ORU message, the OBR segment is used 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.). It is part of a group that can be used more than once for each observation result that is reported in the message.

When the filler creates the ORU message, they will include the Filler Order Number (such as an accession number) in the OBR-3 and/or ORC-3 fields. If the filler order number is not present in the ORC-3, it must be present in the OBR-3 because the ORC segment is optional in the ORU message.

The OBR segment (shown in red) from an ORU message is shown below:

ORC|RE|2156286|A140875||||||20060221061809|^MOUSE^MINNIE^^^^RN||TBU^BUTLER JR


OBR|1|2156286|A140875|MRSHLR-C^MR Shoulder right wo/contrast||| 20060220141000|||||…

* Note that the Filler Order Number in the OBR-3 matches the Filler Order Number in the ORC-3, and that the Placer Order Number is also included in the OBR-2 and ORC-2 fields. This is typically the case for ORU messages.

OBR Attributes

The fields in the OBR segment are as follows:

14SIC Set ID – OBR
275EIC Placer Order Number
375EIC Filler Order Number
4200CER Universal Service ID
52IDB Priority
626TSB Requested Date/time
726TSC Observation Date/Time
826TSO Observation End Date/Time
920CQO Collection Volume
1060XCNOYCollector Identifier
111IDO Specimen Action Code
1260CEO Danger Code
13300STO Relevant Clinical Info.
1426TSC Specimen Received Date/Time
15300CMO Specimen Source
1680XCNOYOrdering Provider
1740XTNOY/2Order Callback Phone Number
1860STO Placer field 1
1960STO Placer field 2
2060STO Filler Field 1
2160STO Filler Field 2
2226TSC Results Rpt/Status Chng – Date/Time
2340CMO Charge to Practice
2410IDO Diagnostic Serv Sect ID
251IDC Result Status
26400CMO Parent Result
28150XCNOY/5Result Copies To
29150CMO Parent
3020IDO Transportation Mode
31300CEOYReason for Study
32200CMO Principal Result Interpreter
33200CMOYAssistant Result Interpreter
3626TSO Scheduled Date/Time
374NMO Number of Sample Containers
3860CEOYTransport Logistics of Collected Sample
39200CEOYCollector’s Comment
4060CEO Transport Arrangement Responsibility
4130IDO Transport Arranged
421IDO Escort Required
43200CEOYPlanned Patient Transport Comment

*Note: For the complete HL7 Standard, please go to the HL7 organization website.

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