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CCDA HERO of interopability, True or False?

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Healthcare IT Consultants, Healthcare IT Consulting, Healthcare Interoperability. California, Georgia, New York, Florida, Texas
CCDA HERO of interopability, True or False?

Many healthcare IT professionals have heard about the CCDA standard but many may not know the back story of this standard and how it was going to save the day for healthcare interoperability.

What is CCDA and the benefits of the standard?

CDA - Clinical Document Architecture

CCDA - Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture

The CCDA came out of the need to control the conflicting CDAs use in the healthcare industry. What is the CDA versus the CCDA. The CDA is a markup standard developed by HL7 that defines structure of medical records like a discharge summary and progress note. CDA doesn't set forth a particular method for transferring data but forms the basis for the CCDA. CDA uses XML as the markup language to present the data content and html to present the data in a readable format when it is exchanged.

Now that we know what CDA is let's look at the CCDA, the CCDA standard contains a library of CDA template standards and was created to represent a single, unified implementation guide for multiple electronic clinical documents and these different documents are:

  • Continuity of Care Document

  • Consultation Notes

  • Discharge Summary

  • Diagnostic Imaging Reports

  • History and Physical

  • Operative Note

  • Progress Note

  • Procedure Notes

  • Unstructured Documents

The CCDA benefits are

  • It supports the exchange of clinical document between systems that are involved in patient care.

  • It supports the re-use of clinical data for public health reporting, quality monitoring, patient safety and clinical trials.

  • Can be used over and over in multiple applications.

What is CCDA and the benefits of the standard?

Inconsistent terminology usage - Coding Issues (>1,000,000 terms spread across multiple vocabularies and RxNorm, ICD-10, SNOMED, LOINC, CPT with overlap between concepts)

To much optionality - more ways to do things and inconsistent implementations across vendors

To complex - the CCDA standard is difficult to understand and lacks good documented examples

Ambiguity in specification - open ended way to handle items like where to include clinical notes in a summary of care document, lack of understanding of implementation on service start and stop for a query and how is embedded formatting handled within text elements

As you can see the CCDA is still a loose standard and didn't fix all issues with exchanging data but it did allow for interoperability to take a step forward with exchanging data electronically which is still better than the paper based method from the past.

Our team can help you with your CCDA document integrations by leveraging our expertise with mirth connect toolset and bridge the gaps between the different implementations that systems have out there in the wild wild west of interoperability.


DevScripts Solutions is an IT Consultant Firm Specializing in Interoperability within the Healthcare Arena.

We are a small team solving big interoperability challenges on a daily basis. With our vast knowledge of interoperability we can integrate ourselves as part of your organization just like we are part of your full-time team.

We develop a variety of custom interfaces for healthcare organizations such as Healthcare Vendors, HIEs, Health Systems, Hospitals, Medical Practices, Payors and ACOs using Mirth Connect.

We work with businesses in California, Georgia, New York, Florida, Texas and throughout the wider United States.

For more information on our services or to arrange a consultation call please contact us today.

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Healthcare Interoperability, Healthcare IT USA, healthcare it, interoperability, mirth connect, nextgen connect, interface engine, integration engine, HL7, FHIR, CCD, CCDA, FHIR, IHE, Sequoia, interface development.
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