Health Quality Measure Format (HQMF) is a standards-based representation of quality measures as electronic documents. 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.
An HQMF document is written in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and contains a header and the measure body.
a. The Population Criteria defines the sections of measure logic (e.g., denominator, numerator, exclusions) and how these sections are applied to proportion, continuous variable, and ratio measures. This section allows expression of measures of processes and outcomes focused on either individual patients or on encounters or defined episodes of care.
b. 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.
The use of HQMF provides for quality measure consistency and unambiguous interpretation. Improvements in the latest version of this standard provide the capability for more efficient automated processing of HQMF-encoded electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) by health IT systems.
The HQMF normative version (R1) was published in July 2017 and is available for download. HQMF R1 is the base standard used for defining eCQM structure. This version provides a simplified structure and clearer execution model over previous HQMF releases. The HL7 Version 3 Standard Representation of HQMF R1 defines sections in ways that are easier for health IT systems to parse and execute. This release provides the capability for more efficient automated processing of HQMF-encoded eCQMs.
Clinical Quality Language (CQL) has replaced the Quality Data Model (QDM)-based HQMF logic expression for use in eCQMs for the calendar year 2019 reporting/performance period. CQL does not replace the data descriptions in the QDM.
Review the Implementation Guides (IG) which define how to implement the HQMF standard using the Quality Data Model (QDM). The QDM-based HQMF IG references QDM 4.3 and the Clinical Quality Language (CQL)-based HQMF IGs references QDM 5.3 and later.
Find additional related documents, case studies, and guides on the HL7 website.
Visit the eCQI Tools & Key Resources Library for a complete list of tools and resources used with eCQMs and eCQI.
There is not a formal HQMF user group at this time, although there are active standards communities where HQMF is discussed and reviewed.
The 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.
Post technical questions and comments related to the HQMF normative standard can be posted to the ONC Jira QDM Issue Tracker.