B.C. Document Ontology Implementation Guide

The B.C. Document Ontology consists of a set of all Logical Observation Identifiers, Names and Codes (LOINC) and non LOINC document codes currently being distributed in B.C. throughout the health information exchange networks. The structure of the B.C Document Ontology is based on the HL7 LOINC Document Ontology structure which is defined by Regenstrief Institute and the LOINC Committee. The document codes are built on an underlying framework and classification of the key attributes for naming clinical documents.

Implementing the Document Ontology provides a foundation for standardized searching, archiving, data mining and information exchange based upon clinical document types. This will provide immediate value to the end user for existing documents that have already been received and captured as well as future clinical documents that will be exchanged.


The audience for this implementation guide are EMR vendors and developers of IT solutions for B.C healthcare systems. Health Authorities across B.C. and Canada are expanding the list of document types being exchanged which is driving the need for a document ontology to help classify and categorize this growing list.

The scope of this implementation guide is twofold. Firstly, it is to build an understanding of the various document codes, names and axis attributes available in the B.C. Document Ontology. Secondly, this guide is intended to document integration techniques, use cases and best practices that an implementer can use to successfully integrate with the B.C. Document Ontology. 


The standards within this implementation guide have been endorsed by the provincial Health Information Standards Standing Committee (HISSC).  

Current Status

Version 1.0 of the standard was published in January 2019 and is available for download (see links below).


Significant analysis and review of documents and specifications were undertaken to make sure the standards developed would be applicable and attainable to the various stakeholder groups.

Wherever possible, content templates defined and reviewed by standards bodies were referenced, and appropriate constraints for the B.C. context applied.

The content of the standard may require post-production edits, additions and/or maintenance to address issues identified by technical validation. Additional adjustments may be required over time to reflect requirements in B.C. or to align with emerging pan-Canadian standards developments.  


  1. Download the B.C Document Ontology Implementation Guide (PDF, 1.1 MB)
  2. Download the B.C Document Ontology LOINC Codes (Excel, 110 KB)

Last updated: January 2019