Data standards for interoperability of care team information to support care coordination of complex pediatric patients

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Objective: Seamless access to information about the individuals and organizations involved in the care of a specific patient (“care teams”) is crucial to effective and efficient care coordination. This is especially true for vulnerable and complex patient populations such as pediatric patients with special needs. Despite wide adoption of electronic health records (EHR), current EHR systems do not adequately support the visualization and management of care teams within and across health care organizations. Electronic health information exchange has the potential to address this issue. In the present study, we assessed the adequacy of available health information exchange data standards to support the information needs related to care coordination of complex pediatric patients. Methods: We derived data elements from the information needs of clinicians and parents to support patient care teams; and mapped them to data elements in the Health Level Seven (HL7) Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) standard and in the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard. We also identified additional C-CDA data elements and FHIR resources that include patients’ care team members. Results: Information about care team members involved in patient care is generally well-represented in the C-CDA and FHIR specifications. However, there are gaps related to patients’ non-clinical events and care team actions. In addition, there is no single place to find information about care team members; rather, information about practitioners and organizations may be available in several different types of C-CDA data elements and FHIR resources. Conclusion: Through standards-based electronic health information exchange, it appears to be feasible to build patient care team representations irrespective of the location of patient care. In order to gather care team information across disparate systems, exchange of multiple C-CDA documents and/or execution of multiple FHIR queries will be necessary. This approach has the potential to enable comprehensive patient care team views that may help improve care coordination.




Ranade-Kharkar, P., Narus, S. P., Anderson, G. L., Conway, T., & Del Fiol, G. (2018). Data standards for interoperability of care team information to support care coordination of complex pediatric patients. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 85, 1–9.

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