HQMF - Health Quality Measure Format
Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) is a standards-based representation of quality measures as electronic documents written in XML. It is developed by Health Level Seven International® (HL7), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development organization. HQMF defines the information necessary to compute a quality measure and result value. Since 2019, HQMF is used in conjunction with Clinical Quality Language (CQL) as CQL-based HQMF to define eCQMs. CQL defines the measure logic, QDM defines the data model, and HQMF defines measure metadata and population structure.
An HQMF document provides measure details that identify and classify the measure and provide important metadata about the measure. Details include descriptions of the measure populations, any stratifications, the measure steward, measure type, identifiers, rationale, scoring; value set identifiers, references to articles, and other details.
An HQMF document can contain up to four subsections: at least one Population Criteria section and one Data Criteria section are required, while one Measure Description section and one Measure Observations section are optional. The Population Criteria section(s) defines the measure populations (e.g., denominator, numerator, exclusions) and assigns their identifiers. The Data Criteria section further explains the information used in the logic, including time references and value sets or direct reference codes to explicitly define the data used in the Population Criteria section.
Find the HQMF standard
The latest version of the CQL-based HQMF standard was published in July 2019 and is available for download.
Review the Implementation Guides (IGs) which define how to implement the HQMF standard using the Quality Data Model (QDM). The Clinical Quality Language (CQL)-based HQMF IGs references QDM 5.3 and later.
- HL7 Version 3 Implementation Guide: CQL-based HQMF, Release 1 – US Realm HL7 STU Release 2.1. This IG references HQMF R1, the normative version published in July 2017. The IG further defines how to implement the standard using QDM 5.3. QDM 5.3 is an updated version of the QDM data model and it contains no logic expression concepts. The IG incorporates CQL as the basis for logic expressions used in the eCQMs. This version is the basis for eCQMs developed with CQL expression language.
- HL7 Version 3 Implementation Guide: CQL-based HQMF, Release 1, STU 3. This IG references HQMF R1, the normative version published in July 2017. The IG further defines how to implement the standard using QDM 5.4. This version is the basis for eCQMs published in May 2018 for the calendar year 2019 reporting/performance period.
- HL7 Version 3 Implementation Guide: CQL-based HQMF, Release 1, STU 4. This IG references HQMF R1, the normative version published in July 2017. The IG further defines how to implement the standard using QDM 5.5. This version is the basis for eCQMs published in May 2019 for the calendar year 2020 reporting/performance period.
Find additional related documents, case studies, and guides on the Health Level Seven International® (HL7) website.
There is not a formal HQMF user group at this time, although there are active standards communities where HQMF is discussed and reviewed.
The Health Level Seven International® (HL7) Clinical Quality Information Work Group Wiki serves as a collaborative workspace for the development of technology standards in support of measuring and improving health, health care, and health care quality. All users have edit rights to be able to submit edits, add comments, and concerns. Items on the Wiki are a work in progress and subject to change.
Seek Help and Provide Feedback
Post technical questions and comments related to the HQMF normative standard can be posted to the ONC Jira QDM Issue Tracker.