Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health

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CAH (Critical Access Hospital):
Small rural hospitals meeting state and federal criteria were eligible to convert from traditional hospital licensure status to Critical Access Hospital (CAH) licensure status. CAHs receive higher cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services. In Minnesota, they also receive cost-based reimbursement for some Medicaid services. CAHs are also allowed greater flexibility in staffing. In return, CAHs must:

  • Make emergency services available 24 hours per day
  • Have no more than 25 beds
  • Maintain an annual average length of stay of 96 hours or less and
  • Participate in networking relationships with other health care providers.

Federal regulations required that CAHs needed to be 35 miles or more from the nearest provider, or be designated by the state as a “Necessary Provider.” As of the federal deadline of January 1, 2006, all qualifying hospitals in Minnesota had become CAHs. Reference: or

CCBH (Connecting Communities for Better Health) See also:

CCD (Continuity of Care Document): The Continuity of Care Document (CCD) is a harmonized format for the exchange of clinical information, including patient demographics, medications and allergies, between patients and providers.  HL7 and ASTM International created the Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to integrate two complementary healthcare data specifications: ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA).  It uses "Web 2.0" approaches, is XML based, machine and human readable, and uses controlled vocabularies enabling computer-based decision support. References: or

CCHIT (Certification Commission for Health Information Technology): A voluntary, private-sector organization launched in 2004 to certify health information technology (HIT) products such as electronic health records. CCHIT was recognized by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) under the initial certification program created to certify that electronic health records (EHRs) are capable of meeting the criteria to support meaningful use and qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Reference:

CCR (Continuity of Care Record): Continuity of Care Record (CCR) is a core data set of the most relevant administrative, demographic, and clinical information facts about a patient's healthcare, covering one or more healthcare encounters. It provides a means for one healthcare practitioner, system, or setting to aggregate all of the pertinent data about a patient and forward it to another practitioner, system, or setting to support the continuity of care. To ensure interchangeability of electronic CCRs, the standard specification specifies XML coding that is required when the CCR is created in a structured electronic format.  This standard specification has been developed by ASTM International, Committee E31 on Health Informatics. Reference:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): CDC is the federal agency charged with protecting the health and safety of U.S. citizens, both at home and abroad. It also oversees the development and application of programs for disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education. Reference: See also: PHIN, MN-PHIN

CDS (Clinical Decision Support): CDS refers broadly to providing clinicians or patients with clinical knowledge and patient-related information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance patient care. Clinical knowledge of interest could range from simple facts and relationships to best practices for managing patients with specific disease states, new medical knowledge from clinical research and other types of information. Reference:

Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR): A certified EHR is defined as a qualified electronic health record that is certified as meeting the standards applicable to the setting (e.g. ambulatory or hospital-based) as adopted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The ONC selects Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs) to perform Complete EHR and/or EHR Module testing and certification. Reference:Current list of ATCBs:, Current list of Certified Health IT Products:

CHC (Community Health Centers):
Community Health Centers (CHCs) serve adults and children in rural and urban areas who experience financial, geographic or cultural barriers to care. CHCs provide primary and preventive health care, mental health services, dental services, transportation and translation services. Reference: or See also: FQHC

CHI (Consolidated Health Informatics):
One of the 24 Presidential eGovernment initiatives with the goal of adopting vocabulary and messaging standards to facilitate communication of clinical information across the federal health enterprise, enabling all agencies to “speak the same language” based on common enterprise-wide business and information technology architectures. Reference: See also: FHA

CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments):
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates all laboratory testing (except research) performed on humans in the U.S. through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Reference:

Clinical Classification:
A method of grouping clinical concepts in order to represent classes that support the generation of indicators of health status and health statistics. Reference:

Clinical Data Repository:
The data warehouse that contains clinical data (HL7 messages) centrally. Reference:

Clinical Laboratory: a facility where tests are performed on human specimens for health assessment of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease.

Clinical Leader: Individuals in this role will be able to lead the successful deployment and use of health IT to achieve transformational improvement in the quality, safety, outcomes, and thus in the value of health services. Reference:

Clinical Meaningful Use Transaction: an electronic transaction that a health care provider must execute to exchange clinical data (e.g., prescriptions, immunizations, laboratory results) for care delivery purposes. These transactions are a sub-set of Stage 1 meaningful use transactions referred to in electronic health record incentive program for Medicare and Medicaid [RIN 0938–AP78; 42 CFR Parts 412, 413, 422, and 495] and required to use the standards recommended for electronic health record technology [RIN 0991–AB58; 45 CFR Part 170] and are required to receive Medicare or Medicaid incentives or avoid Medicare penalties pursuant to sections 4101, 4102, and 4201 of the HITECH Act.

Clinical Messaging: The communication among providers involved in the care process that can range from real time communication (for example, fulfillment of an injection while the patient is in the exam room), to asynchronous communication (for example, consult reports between physicians). Reference: Health Level Seven, Inc. "HL7 EHR-S Functional Model and Standard." July 2004.

Clinical Messaging #1: Continuity of Care Data Exchanges (Inter-Provider Communication): Communication among providers involved in the care process can range from real time communication (for example, fulfillment of an injection while the patient is in the exam room), to asynchronous communication (for example, consult reports between physicians). Some forms of inter-practitioner communication will be paper based and the EHRS must be able to produce appropriate documents. Reference: Health Level Seven, Inc. "HL7 EHR-S Functional Model and Standard." July 2004.

Clinical Messaging #2: Secure Patient/Physician e-mail (Provider and Patient or Family Communication): Trigger or respond to electronic communication (inbound and outbound) between providers and patients or patient representatives with pertinent actions in the care process. Reference: Health Level Seven, Inc. "HL7 EHR-S Functional Model and Standard." July 2004.

Clinical Reminders (Clinical Guideline Prompts): The ability to remind clinicians to consider certain actions at a particular point in time, such as prompts to ask the patient appropriate preventive medicine questions, notifications that ordered tests have not produced results when expected, and suggestions for certain therapeutic actions, such as giving a tetanus shot if one has not been given for 10 years. Reference: eHealth Initiative Foundation. "Second Annual Survey of State, Regional and Community-based Health Information Exchange Initiatives and Organizations." Washington: eHealth Initiative Foundation, 2005.

Clinical User Authentication: The process used by the HIE to determine the identity of the person accessing the system with adequate certainty to maintain security and confidentiality of personal health information and to administer with certainty of identity a regulated process such as e-prescribing and chart signing. Reference:

Clinician/Practitioner Consultants: This role is similar to the “redesign specialist” role but includes the background and experience of a licensed clinical and professional or public health professional. Reference:

CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services):
CMS is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). CMS, formerly known as HCFA, is part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMS is the agency responsible for distributing the incentive payments related to “meaningful use” provision of the HITECH Act. Reference:

Commissioner: The commissioner of health. Reference: Minn. Stat. §62J.498 sub. 1(b)

Common Ground:
A project that aims to change how public health information systems are conceived and developed by: helping agencies develop new information system requirements that are more effective and that streamline the delivery of essential public health services; and minimizing duplicative efforts by identifying common business processes and information system requirements that are applicable across the pubic health field. Reference: and

Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE): CPOE is a computer application that allows a provider's orders for diagnostic and treatment services (such as medications, laboratory, and other tests) to be entered electronically instead of being recorded on order sheets or prescription pads. The computer compares the order against standards for dosing, checks for allergies or interactions with other medications, and warns the provider about potential problems.
Reference: United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Glossary:

Consent: A digital or hardcopy record, signed and dated by a patient or a patient's legally authorized representative, authorizing the release of a patient's electronic health records. Reference: MN Health Records Act)

Confidentiality: A third party's obligation to protect the personal information with which it has been entrusted. Reference:

Controlled Clinical Vocabulary: A system of standardizing the terms used in describing client-centered health and health service-related concepts. Reference:

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE): CSTE is an organization of member state and territories representing public health epidemiologists. CSTE provides technical advice and assistance to partner organizations and to federal public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reference:

Updated Wednesday, 21-Nov-2012 08:49:27 CST