eCQI Standards

What are electronic Clinical Quality Improvement standards?

Standards are critical to data consistency, validity and interoperability. Their use makes it easier to:

  • Share information
  • Develop software
  • Integrate data
  • Implement systems

Standards, in the context of health IT, refer to agreed-on file formats for electronic documents, messages, and other healthcare related data elements. To
learn more about Health IT standards in general, visit the ONC Health IT Playbook. Standards constantly improve so that more sophisticated data can be captured, used and analyzed.  

eCQM standards

A table with the complete list of eCQM Standards and Tool Versions by year can be found on the eCQM Tools page.

Current CDS standards:

  • Virtual Medical Record (vMR) data model and templates
  • Health eDecisions (HeD) CDS Knowledge Artifact Specification (KAS)
    • Rules, order sets, documentation templates
  • Health eDecisions (HeD) Decision Support Service (DSS) and Implementation Guide

While eCQI is made up of eCQMs and Clinical Decision Support (CDS), you’d think both use the same standards, but they don’t. It’s important to understand the difference.

Learn about efforts to harmonize CDS/eCQM Standards:

CDS/eCQM Harmonization

Harmonize CDS/eCQM Standards

Read about HL7 standards and HL7 standards for use in HHS incentive programs.

Explore ONC's Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework and the Clinical Quality Framework github website.

This image describes the eCQM Dataflow and Standards. 

Download a pdf version of this image here.

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