What is the Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA)?

The Health Level Seven International (HL7) Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) is a standard document format for the exchange of electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data. QRDA reports:

  • Contain data extracted from electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology systems.
  • Can be used to exchange eCQM data between systems.
  • Are the data submission standards for a variety of quality measurement and reporting initiatives.
  • Were adopted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as the standard to support both QRDA Category I (individual patient) and QRDA Category III (provider’s aggregate) data submission approaches for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use (MU2).

QRDA Category I and III specifications have and will be used as Draft Standards for Trial Use (DSTUs). HL7 issues DSTUs during the standards development life cycle when many, but not all, of the guiding requirements have been clarified. DSTUs are tested and then formalized in the HL7 ballot process into an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited normative standard. QRDA Category I and QRDA Category III DSTUs were published in 2015.

For 2017 reporting, there will be two CMS QRDA Implementation Guides. There is one CMS Implementation Guide published for Eligible Hospitals and a separate CMS Implementation Guide will be published for Eligible Clinicians.

CMS has developed and published the CMS QRDA Category I Implementation Guide for Eligible Hospitals for 2017 eCQM reporting. This guide:

  • Is based on the HL7 QRDA Category I, DSTU Release 3.1.
  • Further constrains the base HL7 QRDA Category I standard by providing CMS-specific requirements for Eligible Hospitals, such as requiring the CMS Certification Number when submitting QRDA Category I reports.  

CMS is in the process of finalizing the CMS QRDA Category III Implementation Guide for Eligible Clinicians for 2017 eCQM reporting. Once published, this guide:

  • Will be based on the HL7 QRDA Category III, DSTU Release 1.1.
  • Will further constrain the base HL7 QRDA Category III standard by providing CMS-specific requirements for Eligible Clinicians.
  • Will incorporate reporting for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities using QRDA Category III.

QRDA Reference and Implementation Guides for eCQM

For eReporting for the 2017 Reporting Period:

For eReporting for the 2016 Reporting Period:

For eReporting for the 2015 Reporting Period:

For eReporting for the 2014 Reporting Period:

Additional Resources


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