CDA stands for Clinical Document Architecture, and it is under the HL7 umbrella of healthcare standards.
What is HL7 CDA? It is a healthcare standard which uses XML for encoding of documents and breaks down the document in generic, unnamed, and non-templated sections. Documents can include discharge summaries, progress notes, history and physical reports, prior lab results, etc. HL7’s CDA defines a very generic structure for delivering “any document” between systems. CDA was previously known as the Patient Record Architecture (PRA).
CDA is complex, and HL7 is now working on ways to simplify it. The simplification project is called Green CDA.
According to Keith W. Boone, “Green CDA isn’t a solution that’s just around the corner. Gestation of a new standard isn’t sped up by setting unrealistic goals…” Read his blog post called Birthing of a New Standard to gain more insight on the research underway to simplify CDA.
Even though Green CDA sounds distant in being achieved, the initial comments are positive. In the Life as a Healthcare CIO blog, John D. Halamka MD describes Green CDA in a recent post entitled Introducing the Green CDA: “It’s a streamlined, human readable and computable lighter version of CDA that includes just the data and metadata necessary to do the job of representing a clinical summary…. When I first saw the Green CDA XML, I was so impressed that I asked the question – why not use Green CDA as CDA…”
Green CDA will be an interesting project to watch and understand, and it definitely seems to be headed in the right direction. Simplified approaches to working with CDA will facilitate greater adoption of the standard and also the realization of real connected and interoperable health care.
Latest posts by Jon Mertz (see all)
- 5 things I learned in 10 years in healthcare - June 14, 2016
- Millennials on a Mission: Health IT Leader, Jenny Sabol - February 3, 2016
- Giving #HITthanks. Share Your Health IT Gratitude! - November 24, 2014