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QRDA - Quality Reporting Document Architecture

The Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDAinfo-icon) is the data submission standard used for a variety of quality measurement and reporting initiatives. QRDA creates a standard method to report quality measureinfo-icon results in a structured, consistent format and can be used to exchange eCQMinfo-icon data between systems.

Current QRDA Reference and Implementation Guides:

2019 Reporting and Performance Period

The 2019 CMS QRDA Category I Implementation Guide for Eligible Hospitalsinfo-icon for 2019 eCQM reporting is based on the HL7info-icon Implementation Guide for Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) Release 2: Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) Category I, Release 1, Standard for Trial Use Release 5 (published December 2017).

2018 Reporting and Performance Period

For 2018 reporting, there are two CMS QRDA Implementation Guides: one CMS Implementation Guide for Eligible Hospitals and a separate CMS Implementation Guide for Eligible Cliniciansinfo-icon.


QRDA is a Health Level Seven International (HL7) Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)-based standard. It further constrains CDA Release 2 for exchange of electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) data. QRDA was adopted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technologyinfo-icon (ONC) as the standard to support both QRDA Category I (individual patient) and QRDA Category III (provider’s aggregate) data submission approaches for quality reporting.  

  • QRDA Category I (QRDA I) is an individual-patient-level report. It contains quality data for one patient for one or more eCQMsinfo-icon.
  • QRDA Category III (QRDA III) is an aggregate quality report. It has been expanded to support the exchange of Promoting Interoperability measures and improvement activities for the CMS Quality Payment Program. A QRDA III report contains quality data for a set of patients for one or more eCQMs, Promoting Interoperability measures, and/or improvement activities.

The HL7 Clinical Quality Information (CQI) Workgroup maintains and updates both HL7 QRDA I and III standards to ensure alignmentinfo-icon with other quality related standards.

CMS publishes QRDA implementation guides (IGs), Schematrons, and sample files annually to provide technical guidance for implementing the HL7 QRDA I and III standards for reporting to CMS quality reporting programs. The CMS IGs further constrain the HL7 QRDA standards to support CMS specific requirements, such as requiring CMS program names. The CMS IGs also provide submission guidance for a specific performance/reporting period. Schematron files contain a list of assertion rules used to validate that generated QRDA reports conform to the requirements specified in the IGs.

Connections between Standards 

Healthcare organizations receive the measure specificationsinfo-icon, expressed in HQMFinfo-icon using QDMinfo-icon and CQLinfo-icon and then report results to CMS using QRDAinfo-icon

Resources for use when implementing QRDAinfo-icon:

CMS QRDA Pre-Submission Validation Tools GuideResource which details the different aspects of multiple QRDA validation tools that are available to submitters. It is intended to give users a single point of reference for these tools and assist them in selecting the most appropriate tool to meet their individual needs.

QRDA III Converter - Converter tool which converts QRDA III files to the QPP JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format for Quality Payment Program (QPP) data submission. The tool can also be used to test whether QRDA III files can be consumed by QPP and allows you to see whether it complies with the most current QRDA III Implementation Guide and can be successfully submitted to QPP.

QRDA-CQM Sandbox - Cypressinfo-icon testing environment which contains resources and tools for the QRDA Category I and Category III standards. The QRDA Validator provides implementers with the ability to validate the conformance of HL7info-icon QRDA Category I, R2 and QRDA Category III, R3 standards. Note that CMS programs may have additional program specific requirements for QRDA submissions to these programs, which are specified in the CMS QRDA Implementation Guide. 

2017 Reporting Period QRDAinfo-icon Reference and Implementation Guides

2016 Reporting Period QRDA Reference and Implementation Guides

2015 Reporting Period QRDA Reference and Implementation Guides

2014 Reporting Period QRDA Reference and Implementation Guides

Get Involved

There is not a formal QRDAinfo-icon user group at this time, although there are active standards communities where QRDA 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.

Seek Help and Provide Feedback

Questions and comments related to the development and implementation of QRDA can be posted to the ONC JIRA QRDA Issue Tracker.

Last Updated: December 10, 2018