ACC/AHA Release Updated Methodology for Development of Clinical Data Standards

The ACC and the American Heart Association (AHA) on Nov. 14 released an updated methodology for developing clinical data standards. The report, developed by the ACC/AHA Task Force on Clinical Data Standards, updates the original methods paper published in 2007 to reflect changes in relationships with industry policies and to emphasize the need for integration of data standards across many organizations and disciplines.

The new report is intended to provide the framework necessary to develop clinical data standards that can be applied by various entities to enhance data collection and facilitate seamless data exchange. The report also positions the Task Force as the “clearinghouse” for cardiovascular data standards. “This stewardship will enable the use of a common lexicon to be used for a wide variety of applications including incorporation into [electronic health records], elements for structured reports, the basis for clinical registries and data repositories, and facilitation of regulatory submissions,” the report authors said.

"Health data standardization permits the orderly and accurate transfer of medical information throughout the health care enterprise," said Task Force Chair Robert C. Hendel, MD, FACC. "Harmonized clinical vocabulary is critical to this effort."

According to Hendel, the document is "foundational to and harmonious with" national efforts to promote quality and improve data collection. "In this rapidly evolving area of health information technology, the key to establishing interoperability and information exchange in health care is standardized health care vocabulary/terminology," he said. The Task Force is continuously working with various Standards Development Organizations to ensure work is aligned.

Keywords: Electronic Health Records, Registries, Delivery of Health Care, Data Collection, Medical Informatics, Advisory Committees

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