Open-source population health module achieves 2014 EHR certification

A free population health tool that can import data and calculate, display and export electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) is now certified as a 2014 electronic health record module, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. 

Researchers from Northwestern University helped create the open-source popHealth in 2010 and its affiliated hospital, Northwestern Medicine, aimed to use the tool as part of its enterprise data warehouse.

"We recognized early on that leveraging popHealth would not only help us measure and improve quality of care more quickly and accurately, but also provide a sustainable technical foundation for the future," Eric Whitley, manager of clinical analytics at Northwestern, said in a post on ONC's Health IT Buzz blog.

"The standards-centric focus provides unparalleled interoperability for plug-and-play information exchange and analytics that lets us get back to the real job of focusing on the patient and not IT challenges," he added.

The ONC blog notes that states can employ the tool as part of their strategy for accepting eCQMs submissions, required under Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. Wyoming has already incorporated popHealth into its EHR Incentive Program attestation system.

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

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

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:
- see the post on ONC's buzz blog
- visit

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ONC releases proposed 2015 EHR technology certification criteria


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