New initative to focus on 'harmonizing' CDS, electronic clinical quality measurement standards

While lauding the Health eDecisions project for its work to set standards to support clinical decision support, a Health IT Buzz post announces a new initiative called the Clinical Quality Framework (CQF).

This new project from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will focus on "harmonizing" the standards for clinical decision support and electronic clinical quality measurement.

"Clinical decision support (CDS) and electronic clinical quality measurement (eCQM) are closely related, share many common requirements, and are both in support of improving healthcare quality. However, the standards used for their electronic representation have not been developed in consideration of each other, and were essentially developed in silos," the S&I (Standards and Interoperability) Framework wiki page explains. In particular, they use different approaches to patient data and computable expression logic.

These silos create more burdens, it explains, such as:

  • A CDS intervention author cannot easily re-use the work of an eCQM developer or vice versa.

  • An electronic health record (EHR) system that supports both CDS and eCQM will need to map its native data format to two different data standards and to implement computation capabilities for two different logic expression standards.

"Harmonization of the standards used for CDS and eCQM is required to reduce implementation burdens, promote integration between these two domains and facilitate care quality improvement," the page reads.

Stakeholders including Health IT vendors, health systems, standards development organizations, patient advocates, and the general public are encouraged to participate in the initiative.

Clinical decision support is among the focus areas in the recommendations for Meaningful Use Stage 3.

The proposed next edition of electronic health record technology certification criteria also calls for improved interoperability exchange for transitions of care and clinical decision support.

To learn more:
- find the Health IT Buzz post
- here's the S&I Framework wiki page
- learn how to get involved

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