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CCD Chart Exchange

The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) specification is an XML-based format for medical information to be passed between computer systems as a type of document file. The intention of the file is to provide a new medical provider with rapid access to the patient's previous medical history. Although developed by the Health Level Seven International organization and using the HL7 data paradigm, the document wrapper and markup language are done in XML. The document file typically contains a combination of human-readable text and structured data for computer interpretation.

CCD is a specific implementation of the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) specification. As both CCD and CCR are based on XML, translation between the two formats can be done but is not always implemented correctly in current medical computing systems.

Note that the CCD can be shared with the patient who may transport it to another physician with or without the originating physician's involvement. Meaningful Use Stage I requirements include a test of electronic information exchange (CCD) with an external entity using a certified EHR.

Potential Benefits

  • Ability to pull patient chart information from primary care physician after normal business hours for emergency room and urgent care
  • Ability of patient to transport medical record amongst multiple providers
  • Import of patient's medical history as structured, numerical data into a new provider's EMR system

Potential Risks

  • Unauthorized access of a patient's record
  • Patient misinterpretation of their medical data

Additional Information

Medical Incentive Technologies LLC consultants have experience with conducting CCD exchange tests as part of the Meaningful Use attestation process. We can play a leading role in implementing CCD access for patients through tools like Patient Portal or medical partner data exchanges.