The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) interface (also referred to as a bi-directional interface) is important to you and your agency’s personal care to its individuals and families. This interface is a very robust integration between the EHR software and a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) or Qualified Entity (QE).

Continuity of Care

The CCD interface has many features that can benefit your agency.  The most important feature is the standardization and most up-to-date data on individuals you support.  A RHIO may have thousands of connections to doctors’ offices, urgent care facilities, hospitals, EHR software, etc.  These links allow for the immediate sending of data to the RHIO.  The RHIO will then send this data to any EHR software that is integrated and partnered with them.  An EHR software that is integrated with a RHIO retrieves the most up to date data on the individuals you support, saving you time and resources and giving you efficiencies where needed.  Users no longer need to enter in most of this medical data; it comes right from the source.

The CCD will contain data that is not human-readable.  It is in a format called Extensible Markup Language (XML).  When imported from the RHIO, the EHR software will need to be able to reconcile the new data with the data already present in the system.  Doing this will require a thorough reconciliation process that removes the duplication of data while keeping the integrity of the data.

With the exchange of Personal Health Information (PHI), the EHR software must adhere to the highest and most strict security standards.  The EHR software needs to properly configure certificate-exchange, understand encoding and decoding of data, and handle credentials securely.  Without these security standards in place, the EHR will not succeed with integrating and taking part in this important interface.

This is the second of a four part series. In our next entry we will explore the SHIN-NY – what it is and why your agency should be a part of it.

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