popHealth: Better Care Through Better Understanding

August 2013
Empowering quality healthcare. This is the goal behind popHealth, an open-source reference implementation that allows providers to aggregate data from electronic health records (EHR) to generate clinical quality measure reports.
Two co-workers look at a wall-sized screen full of data to analyze it.

These reports provide physicians with a better understanding of the overall health of their patient population and the ability to identify opportunities to improve the care provided.

A Clinical Quality Measure Reporting Tool

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology sponsored the development of popHealth in order to support providers and EHR vendors in achieving and reporting Meaningful Use (MU) of health IT. popHealth helps providers easily understand the logic behind Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) and effortlessly identify patients requiring follow-up care. The transmission of summary quality data is simple and scalable, representing an alternative to traditional methods of data analysis and reporting.

popHealth's innovative design leverages the generation of patient records using nationally recognized standards from a provider's EHR to produce the clinical quality measure reports. Specifically, popHealth leverages the QRDA Category 1 standard for representing patient data in EHR systems. popHealth integrates with multiple EHR systems and will easily scale as clinical quality measures are added. EHR vendors and healthcare providers using clinical repositories for storing patient-level data may directly integrate with popHealth and leverage its open source quality measure engine. popHealth is designed to operate within a provider's infrastructure and export the QRDA Category 3 as the reporting artifact for the transmission of the summary CQM results.

popHealth Sample Report

popHealth was designed to be an informative and empowering tool for healthcare providers and their practice. The sample report below illustrates a CQM dashboard for a practice. The Clinical Quality Measure percentages for the population are shown in the main frame. With popHealth valuable information on the patient population and the CQM criteria are a single click away.

For Healthcare Providers

  • Ease of Use: Provides easy access through an intuitive web-based interface.
  • Stratification: Stratifies patient populations by race, ethnicity, language and gender.
  • Multi-Provider Support: Offers dashboard displays for both a single provider and multiple providers.
  • Manual Patient Exclusion: Supports the exclusion of patients based on provider rationale.
  • Patient-Centric View: Allows providers to view the clinical quality measures for one individual.

For EHR Vendors

  • Open Source: Made freely available under Apache 2.0 open-source distribution license.
  • Meaningful Use: Supports the reporting logic of the MU CQMs for both Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals based on the specifications that are published on the CMS website.
  • Reference Implementation: Help guide vendor's software development.
  • National Standards: Integrates using nationally recognized patient-level XML data standards.
  • Streamlines Reports: Streamlines submission of clinical quality measure reports.

popHealth's Value

  • Supports quality: Designed for reporting clinical quality measures for Meaningful Use of health IT.
  • Empowers providers: Offers at-a-glance indication of the documented performance for each measure.
  • Streamlines reporting: Leverages standards for patient-level records expressed in nationally recognized XML data standards as inputs from EHR systems.
  • Engages the community: Provides an open-source solution to support EHR vendors and eligible providers.

The popHealth software and additional information about the project are available via popHealth.

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