Adoption of HL7 CDA to Connect Clinical Trial Data, EHRs: Technology to Support Patient Care, Speed Process from “Bench to Bedside” – #HIMSS12

LAS VEGAS, USA – Feb. 21, 2012 – Health Level Seven® International (HL7®) announced today a collaborative effort with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to use HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA®) in a unique way that solves the problem of connecting clinical trial data to patients’ electronic health records (EHRS). The new collaboration was announced at the 2012 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, ranked as one of the largest health information technology conferences in the United States.

“This is a significant advance in HIT connectivity because it brings clinical trial data directly to patients’ personal physicians, which means we can improve patient care by speeding the process of moving medical advances from bench to bedside,” said Robert Dolin, MD FACP, vice chair of the HL7 Board of Directors and co-editor of the CDA.  “Studies have shown that right now it can take seven years or more for new research advances to be put into clinical practice.  We can make that process much quicker by improving physician access to clinical trial data, and by expressing clinical trial data using meaningful use EHR standards.”

The new project demonstrates that clinical trial data can be packaged using the same HL7 standards that are incorporated into EHRs that meet the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria of the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) to bring clinical trial data directly to the point of care and facilitate data analysis. Physicians will have a more complete picture of the care provided to their patients during clinical trials, and the project will also help facilitate data analysis that may speed the availability of new treatments to patients.

According to John Speakman, chief program officer for the NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, the program will lower the barriers for systems to interoperate in the service of biomedical research and, ultimately, precision medicine.  To reach these goals, the use of HHS-endorsed industry standards such as HL7 CDA must be part of the picture, he said.

The HL7 CDA addresses universal requirements for the exchange and management of structured clinical documents.  It supports the exchange of clinical documents between those involved in the care of patients and allows for the re-use of clinical data for public health reporting, quality monitoring, patient safety and clinical trials.

The program, which will be launched as a pilot program later this year, was developed with the assistance of Ekagra Software Technologies and Lantana Consulting Group.

About Health Level Seven (HL7) International

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International ( is the global authority for healthcare Information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7 is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7’s more than 2,300 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7 collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.