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Resources for CDA, CCD, and Consolidated CDA Documents

By sovita.chander@caristix.com | Published: May 7th, 2014

In our discussions with vendors and providers on these new standards, we’ve seen a wide range of learning curves. Some people are just getting started, while others are knee-deep in live exchange. What are the tools and resources that are out there? This blog post gives you a handy list  of resources for CDA, CCD and consolidated CDA documents to get started.

Start with HL7 International

HL7 International is the standards developing organization for healthcare data exchange and integration. They provide the fundamental resources you’ll need to implement CDA. One good place to start is the Implementation Guide for CDA R2 CCD.

Another great resource is Keith Boone’s healthcare standards blog, Motorcycle Guy. Keith blogs extensively on how healthcare data standards are developed, and he provides insight into how to implement CDA. In fact, he wrote the book on CDA. Check out his “Great Stuff” column for a list of CDA-related tools.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Requirements

Go to the source for Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.

High-Level Intros

EHR vendor Practice Fusion has two solid introductory articles (first article, second article) on developing the clinical exchange documents to meet MU2. If you’re an analyst or developer, you may already be familiar with the content. But keep in mind that these are good for sharing with people who don’t need the technical implementation details , but who need to understand the why and how of the big picture.

If you need a high-level introduction to Meaningful Use itself, check out out this video from EHR vendor Hello Health.

SMART C-CDA Scorecard

This consolidated CDA tool was developed by Smart Platforms, an ONC-funded project that aims to create a platform architecture for medical apps – one analogy might be iPhone apps or the Salesforce AppExchange. They see CDA as a key component of the architecture. The Scorecard helps you evaluate the quality of the clinical summaries relative to Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements and the consolidated CDA specification.

Also check out the blog posts on the Smart Platforms site. Start with the C-CDA posts here: http://smartplatforms.org/interoperability/

Frameworks and Tools

Don’t forget about the S&I framework and NIST tools. These are essential for understanding how your work is going to meet MU2 and CDA requirements. A bonus: CDA Guideline Validation from NIST.

What Caristix is Working On

We see a need to address gap analysis in order to ensure that best practices are followed, and the structure and content meet standards. David Kreda and Joshua Mandel on the Smart Platforms site summarized the issues well; here’s an excerpt:

  • material ambiguities in the C-CDA specification
  • accidental misinterpretations of the C-CDA specification
  • lack of authoritative “best practice” examples for C-CDA generation
  • errors generated by certification itself, i.e., vendors are incentivised to produce documents that set off no warnings in the official validator (rather than documents that correctly convey the underlying data)
  • data coding errors that reflect specific mapping and translation decisions that hospitals and providers may make independent of EHR vendors

Other Resources

What other CDA, CCD and consolidated CDA document resources should we list? Leave a suggestion in the comments below.