3 HIT standards that could help improve quality measurement

To accelerate quality measurement in the U.S. the healthcare industry must chose a clinical summary standard for transmission of longitudinal patient care data. That's one of three recommendations from the federal Health Information Technology Standards Committee, according to co-chair John D. Halamka, M.D.

In addition, the committee is working on two other measures: specifying one vocabulary without optionality for each portion of the record and using an e-measurements format to describe numerators and denominators in machine readable logic.

"If we do this, we'll be able to widely deploy [Mitre Corporation's] popHealth [tool] to automatically calculate quality measures on data exchange from EHRS," Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, writes in a post on his blog, Life as a Healthcare CIO.

"We'll also be able to more effectively use architectures like QueryHealth that submit questions to the data rather than aggregate the data into a central quality measurement entity," he concludes.

To learn more:
- check out the blog post
- see the popHealth website
- visit the federal Health Information Technology Standards Committee site

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