HL7 sharpens focus on clinical quality

Standards group Health Level Seven International (HL7) has formed the Clinical Quality Information Work Group. HL7 plans to offer more education to providers and the new work group will offer leadership in the development of standards artifacts and educational content to all stakeholders involved in quality measurement efforts.

“We are pleased to launch the Clinical Quality Information Work Group, which will provide an organizational infrastructure to collaborate, educate and foster greater communication and coordination with external quality, healthcare delivery and management, professional and government stakeholder organizations, as well as across HL7’s work groups,” Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7, said in a news release.

[See also: HL7 to make standards available free for public good.]

One of the major challenges for quality management and standardization in healthcare is the lack of a single point of coordination between stakeholders and the numerous organizations working to improve quality in healthcare, Jaffe noted.

“There are numerous organizations working to enhance clinical quality information and develop and maintain clinical standards in this area, and the stakeholder connection to interoperability standards is often unclear,” Floyd Eisenberg, MD, president of iParsimony, and co-chair of HL7’s Clinical Quality Improvement Work Group, said in the release.  “We believe that HL7 will enable collaboration and coordination among stakeholders through a common forum.”

The stated mission of HL7’s Clinical Quality Information Work Group is to create and maintain information technology standards in support of improving health care quality, including clinical care, and to foster collaboration between quality measurement, outcomes and improvement stakeholders.

[See also: Q&A: Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7]

The co-chairs of the work group are Patricia Craig, The Joint Commission; Floyd Eisenberg, MD, iParsimony; Crystal Kallem, Lantana Consulting Group; and Walter G. Suarez, MD, Kaiser Permanente.

The Clinical Quality Information Work Group will coordinate internally with HL7 work groups such as: Clinical Decision Support, Structured Documents, Patient Safety, Patient Care, Regulated Clinical Research Information Management (RCRIM), Public Health and Emergency Response (PHER), Pharmacy, Clinical Interoperability Council, and EHR. In addition, it will coordinate externally with organizations such as: quality measure development and endorsement organizations, health care accrediting organizations, health care delivery and management organizations, patient safety organizations, quality improvement organizations, professional societies and government agencies.

The first business meeting of the new Clinical Quality Information Work Group was held Jan. 15 in Phoenix. That meeting and other sessions are listed on the group's wiki.