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"Substance, Administered"

Performance/Reporting Period
QDM Datatype (QDM Version 5.5 Guidance Update):

Data elements that meet criteria using this datatype should document that the substance indicated by the QDM category and its corresponding value set was actually given to the patient.


  • relevant dateTime references the time the substance is administered if it was given or taken at a single point in time.
  • relevantPeriod references a start and stop time for substance administration if the administration event occurred over a time interval.
  • The relevantPeriod addresses:
    • startTime - when a single substance administration event starts (e.g., the initiation of an intravenous infusion).
    • stopTime - when a single substance administration event ends (e.g., the end time of the intravenous infusion).
  • author dateTime references the time the substance administration was recorded and applies only when the record has no reference to the time the substance administration occurred and only the recorded time is available.


QDM Category (QDM Version 5.5 Guidance Update)


Substance represents a homogeneous material with definite composition that includes allergens, biological materials, chemicals, foods, drugs, and materials. QDM distinguishes between medications from non-medication substances by separately listing medication datatypes. Substance may or may not have a code or be classified by a code system such RxNorm. Examples of a substance may include environmental agents (e.g., pollen, dust) and food (e.g., vitamins).

Measure developers have considered the use of the QDM substance category in light of alignment with existing interoperability data standards. Two use cases require further investigation and effort in the HL7 FHIR realm:

Nutrition [Considerations for Future Use]
The nutrition mappings from QDM to FHIR resources require continued effort as of the printing of this QDM 5.5 version. The FHIR NutritionOrder Resource is a record of the request for the supply of a diet, oral supplement or enteral formulas for a patient, and thus allow specification of a complete diet order, but not an order for an individual nutrient. The NutritionOrder resource is currently at a low maturity level (i.e., it has had limited testing). Therefore, for the current QDM 5.5 reference, substance is modeled similarly to medications.

Blood Products [Considerations for Future Use]
The HL7 FHIR version 4.0 resource for blood products allow specification of the blood product as a biologically derived product, but specification for how such products are administered remains in development. Therefore, for the current QDM 5.5 reference, blood product administration can be managed using QDM datatypes “Procedure, Performed” or “Substance, Administered” based on measure developer findings during measure implementation testing.

QDM Attributes


The time the data element was entered into the clinical software. Note, some datatypes include both relevant dateTime and author dateTime attributes. When both are present, author dateTime is included to accommodate negation rationale.

The author dateTime addresses when an activity is documented. Documentation can occur at the beginning, during, at the end, or subsequent to the end of the activity. The author dateTime should be used only if the relevantPeriod cannot be obtained or to represent the time negation rationale is documented.

Note: negation rationale indicates a one-time documentation of a reason an activity is not performed. Negation of QDM datatype related actions for a reason always use the author dateTime attribute to reference timing and must not use relevantPeriod.


Details of how much medication is taken or is to be taken, i.e., the quantity (mg, cc, tablets) to be taken at a single administration.


Indicates how frequently the medication or substance:
  • Is administered to a patient for an active medication (a).
  • Was administered to the patient (b).
  • Should be taken by the patient or administered to the patient (c).
  • Is recommended to be given to the patient (d).


Indicates the reason that an action was not performed. Only QDM datatypes that represent actions (e.g., performed, recommended, communication, order, dispensed) allow the negation rationale attribute. The intent is to indicate a justification that such action did not happen as expected. This attribute specifically does not address the presence or absence of information in a clinical record (e.g., documented absence of allergies versus lack of documentation about allergies). QDM assumes a world view that absence of evidence indicates information does not exist or an action did not happen. To express such lack of evidence, an eCQM author should use the CQL expression not exists with reference to the data element rather than the QDM data model. negation rationale in QDM signifies only a reason for such absence, i.e., the reason must be present to qualify for negation rationale. The syntax in the human readable HQMF is addressed in CQL examples and in the MAT User Guide. Prior versions of QDM used the syntax, "Procedure, Performed not done." QDM versions starting with 5.3 use the syntax, "Procedure, not Performed." Section A-5 provides examples for expressing negation rationale in CQL.

Note: negation rationale indicates a one-time documentation of a reason an activity is not performed. Negation of QDM datatype-related actions for a reason always use the author dateTime attribute to reference timing and must not use relevantPeriod.


The performer is the person or organization that is responsible for the action (e.g., the individual or organization carrying out the activity). The performer references a QDM entity and any or all of the attributes of the selected QDM entity. For example, to reference that a physician who performed a procedure is the same person who was the primary participant in an Encounter and assure the physician's specialty meets the measure's requirements, the eCQM can reference the Practitioner entity and its attributes. Should the eCQM choose to reference a physician practice or a hospital, the performer can reference the Organization entity and indicate the identifier and/or the organization type.


Relevant dateTime addresses the time an activity occurs as a single point in time. If the activity occurs over a period of time, use Relevant Period.


Relevant Period addresses the time between the start of an action to the end of an action. Each datatype using relevant period defines specific definitions for the start and stop time for the action listed.

Note: negation rationale indicates a one-time documentation of a reason an activity is not performed. Negation of QDM datatyperelated actions for a reason always use the author dateTime attribute to reference timing and must not use relevantPeriod


Refers to the path by which the medication or substance should be taken into the body system, such as intradermally, intrathecally, intramuscularly, intranasally, intravenously, orally, rectally, subcutaneously, sublingually, topically, or vaginally.
Last Updated: Jul 08, 2021