The 2009 version of the Microsoft platform Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) incorporates ASTM E2369, Specification for Continuity of Care (CCR), a patient health summary standard intended to support continuity of care, reduce medical errors and increase efficiency by eliminating duplication of tests and procedures.
The CCR standard, which was developed by ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics, is a way to create flexible XML documents that contain the most relevant and timely important health information about a patient, and to send these electronically from one caregiver to another, in the hopes of creating better quality of care. It includes various sections such as patient demographics, insurance information, diagnosis and problem list, medications, allergies and care plan.
With the CCR, a core set of data can be sent to the next health care provider whenever a patient is referred, transferred, or otherwise uses different clinics, hospitals, or other providers. A number of groups participated in the CCR’s development, including clinical specialty societies, professional organizations, insurers, vendors, health care institutions, state and federal agencies and patient advocacy organizations.
Amalga UIS 2009 will utilize the CCR standard through connectivity to HealthVault, a Web-based program that lets individuals create a record and store personal health information online. According to Microsoft Corp., the Amalga UIS program will allow healthcare professionals to, once authorized by the patient, pull important information such as a patient’s medication lists, allergies and vital signs like blood pressure and blood glucose from the patient’s HealthVault record. In turn, healthcare providers can push any patient data from the hospital, including test results, medications and discharge summaries, to the patient’s record using the ASTM CCR standard. The patient is then able to access and share the information from their personal CCR with family and other healthcare providers.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked sixth in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals, is currently using Microsoft Amalga UIS to collect various patient data such as EKG reports, surgery reports and discharge medications, and then sending it to the patient’s personal HealthVault record using the ASTM CCR standard.
"It's very gratifying to see the value that the CCR standard is bringing to efforts to exchange computable health data, like that between Microsoft and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The goal here is to make health data accessible and actionable, so as to help care be more coordinated and a better experience for patients. Microsoft, Google and many others are collaborating with top health care organizations and their clinicians to improve care with these innovations in IT systems, and the CCR standard is contributing in an important way,” says Dr. David Kibbe, senior advisor, American Academy of Family Physicians, and chair of ASTM Committee E31.
The Continuity of Care record is also being used by the Google Health application, a personal health record service that allows users to create an online health profile by importing personal data from organizations such as pharmacies and lab companies. Launched in May 2008, Google Health permits users to send their summary health information using the CCR standard XML format to other Web portals and services as needed.
Major pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have partnered with Google Health, offering their customers the opportunity to import their full prescription history into the program using the CCR. With many patients taking more than one medication, having all of their prescription information stored in one place is beneficial to both patients and pharmacists.
For technical information, contact Dr. David Kibbe, The Kibbe Group L.L.C., Pittsboro, N.C. (phone: 919-647-9651; firstname.lastname@example.org). For additional details about the use of the ASTM CCR standard and related standards for health data and information exchange,
ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM’s open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Dan Smith, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9727; email@example.com).