Continuity of Care Document

The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) is a patient summary in which health information is digitally encoded using standards that permit electronic exchange while ensuring the semantic integrity where the information is received. Generally, this means health professionals that receive patient health information through a CCD will interpret the information in the same way as the sender intended.

A CCD contains relevant administrative, demographic, and clinical information. A CCD may contain information about one or more healthcare encounters. A CCD is a snapshot in time of a patient’s health information. A CCD is exchanged from one healthcare practitioner or entity to another to support continuity of care among and between these practitioners who are working jointly to provide for the patient’s healthcare needs.

More technically:

• The CCD specification is an XML-based markup standard intended to specify the encoding, structure and semantics of a patient summary clinical document for exchange.

• The CCD specification is a constraint on the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard. The CDA specifies that the content of the document consists of a mandatory textual part (which ensures human interpretation of the document contents) and optional structured parts (for software processing). The structured part is based on the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) and provides a framework for referring to concepts from coding systems such as from SNOMED and LOINC.

Additional reference information:







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