QDM - Quality Data Model
The Quality Data Model (QDM) is an information model that defines relationships between patients and clinical concepts in a standardized format to enable electronic quality performance measurement. The model is the current structure for electronically representing quality measure concepts for stakeholders involved in electronic quality measure development and reporting. Electronic health record (EHR) systems can use QDM to more consistently request, store, and convey clinical information.
CMS established the QDM User Group to ensure broad stakeholder collaboration in QDM development, maintenance, and harmonization with quality measure and CDS standards to support the electronic clinical quality improvement (eCQI) landscape. Participants of this open stakeholder group use their expertise to recommend changes to the QDM based on 1) measurement needs, 2) real-world feasibility, and 3) harmonization with Health Level Seven International® (HL7) electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) and CDS standards. You can review the QDM User Group Charter for more information about the group. To get involved or provide feedback, refer to the Connect tab.
QDM version 5.6
QDM v5.6 is available for the development/update of eCQMs for the calendar year 2023 reporting/performance period. Measure Authoring Tool (MAT) v6.x, scheduled for release in the spring 2021 after eCQM Annual Update activities, will incorporate the QDM v5.6 changes.
Find the Current Version of the QDM in Use
QDM version 5.5 Guidance Update is used for the development/update of eCQMs for the calendar years 2021 and 2022 reporting/performance periods.
Visit the QDM Q&As page to review common questions and answers on QDM.
QDM Known Issues are found on the Clinical Quality Language (CQL) Formatting and Usage Wiki.
The QDM provides the language that defines the criteria for clinical quality measurement. It allows the electronic definition of a clinical concept via its data elements and provides the vocabulary to relate these elements to each other. By relating attributes between data elements and using filtering functions, the QDM provides a method to construct complex clinical representations for eCQMs. The QDM provides the foundation for the conceptualization and specification phases in the eCQM Measure Lifecycle.
Category - Consists of a single clinical concept identified by a value set. A category is the highest level of definition for a QDM element. QDM 5.5 contains 22 categories. Some examples of categories are Medication, Procedure, Condition/Diagnosis/Problem, Communication, and Encounter.
Datatype - The context in which each category describes a part of the clinical care process. Examples of QDM datatypes include “Medication, Active” and “Medication, Administered” as applied to the QDM Medication category.
Attribute - Provides specific details about a QDM data element. QDM data elements have datatype-specific attributes.
Datatype specific attributes - Datatype-specific attributes provide detail about a QDM data element based on its datatype. For example, “Medication, Dispensed”, “Medication, Order” and “Medication, Administered” all contain information about dosage, supply, frequency, and route. “Medication, Dispensed” and “Medication Order” include the attribute refills, but “Medication, Administered” does not. Because these attributes pertain to specific datatypes, they are called datatype-specific attributes. Starting with QDM version 5.5, each QDM datatype includes an actor to allow reference to the individual or organization that performed the activity. The QDM documentation provides definitions of all QDM attributes including the new actor attributes.
Entities - QDM 5.5 introduces a new concept called QDM Entities. Entities are not QDM datatypes or attributes. Use entities to represent concepts to specify details about the actor (or performer) of any QDM datatype. An eCQM can use the entities to provide further information required for an individual or organization actor to meet the measure’s criteria. Entities include Patient, Care Partner, Practitioner, and Organization. QDM 5.5 provides examples of how to use these new QDM Entities.
Connections between Standards
Relationship to future use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources® (FHIR)
For those using FHIR® resources or considering transition to FHIR for interoperability, the Quality Improvement Core (QI-Core) Implementation Guide provides mapping from QDM datatypes and attributes to QI-Core profiles and elements. The maps may assist implementers to understand the meaning of QDM datatypes and attributes.
- Pioneers in Quality Video Shorts - eCQM Basics Series 1 - January 7, 2021 - (Free registration is required to view the videos)
- QDM v5.5 High Level Summary - November 18, 2019
- QDM v5.5 Presentation - August 20, 2019
- QDM v5.4 Release Presentation - July 16, 2018
Read about QDM for use with CQL.
If you are interested in participating in the QDM User Group, you may download the calendar appointments from the eCQI Resource Center Events page. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the QDM User Group distribution list.
Seek Help and Provide Feedback
Post technical questions and comments related to the development and implementation of QDM to the ONC Jira QDM Issue Tracker.