Understanding CCDs

The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) is a health-care standard electronic medical records (EMRs) EHRs will use to exchange data based on requirements outlined in meaningful use—but that’s not all you need to know about it.

What is it? The CCD is based on the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), a document standard governed by the HL7 organization.

Is it anything like a CCR? A Continuity of Care Record (CCR) was created by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It included information necessary for providers to effectively transfer care. The CCD contains all the same information, but places it under the architecture of the CDA.

What does it do? The CCD’s primary purpose is the exchange of information, usually when a patient is transferred from one care setting to another. It includes 17 sections, including family history.

What are its limits? A CCD isn’t intended to be a complete medical history; it’s intended to include only the information that is critical to effectively continue care.

Can a provider or patient view it? A CCD must be readable by humans using any standard Web browser, so any clinician, or even the patient, can open the CCD and view the data.

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