All you should know about Continuity of Care Document or CCD


August 5, 2012

Healthcare IT supportThe term Continuity of Care Document or CCD is exclusively used within medical arena which is actually a web or XML based standard that is used to specify the encoding, structure and semantics of patient’s clinical records. This is usually used by health professional in cases when a patient is transferred to one care from another. It usually contains crucial and relevant information of patient’s health status comprising administrative, demographic and clinical records. This is governed by the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard and mandatorily requires to include textual part for easy interpretation by people.  In a nutshell, this is a manuscript that can help health professionals to understand about the important health issues and other aspects of a patient when they receive the patients from another health care.

The sole purpose of a Continuity of Care Document is to ensure efficient and secure exchange of patients. whenever a patients is transferred from one hospital to another, the doctors request or refer to this document to get a snapshot about current condition of the patient which is defined by IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise), a dependable governing authority. However, you should not take this as CCR which also serves the same purpose. Although a CCR includes the same information as a CCD, it is actually a written document of 3 pages. On the other hand, a CCD is an electronic version of the same information under the architecture of CDA.

This record format was developed by HL7 and the development included a number of experts who were also involved in developing CCR and CDA. Since it originated in USA, the use of CCD is limited to this country at the moment. However, many other nations are also considering to incorporate this in their health care system.

Although CCD includes a range of information about a patient, it is not all inclusive. Rather it includes only the critical information needed to continue the medical care. Still they have adequate information to continue medical care. This is why; concerned authorities are proposing to set it as the primary format for clinical care summaries as part of the sophisticated Clinical Document Architecture. This document can be viewed by both health professionals and common individuals through the use of any web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

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