CCR work continues
The Continuity of Care Record (CCR) is a data set, not a document, said Tom Sullivan, MD, past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and co-chair of the ASTM E31.25 Continuity of Care Record Task Group. Speaking during the Medical Record Institute’s “Analyzing the Latest EMR Developments” conference last week, Sullivan said the CCR is flexible and independent of technology, other than structural XML.

Although critics say the CCR doesn’t address HL7 CFA documentation attributes—persistence, stewardship, potential for authentication, wholeness and human readability—Sullivan said the CCR shouldn’t because “it’s a document wannabe. It’s data to be put into a document by someone who authenticates it.”

Meanwhile, the new PDF/H (portable data file – healthcare) is a portable, secure, and universal healthcare data exchange container for personal health records and electronic records. The PDF/H is an AIIM-proposed best practice guide. Since Adobe Systems already makes the PDF software available for free, the PDF/H format should be an easy change for the healthcare industry, Sullivan pointed out.

Sullivan said the CCR Task Group is currently working on the following:
  • harmonizing with other SDOs (service data objects), including HL7, NCPDP, and X12;
  • accelerating activities of the CCR task group;
  • developing the next version;
  • addressing the needs of specific patient populations; and
  • cultivating international interest.