The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the CMS have unveiled a new electronic health-record format for children's healthcare, which the agencies say will help EHR vendors to create customized modules for pediatric patients.
The new EHR format includes specific functionality and data elements for children, such as immunizations and growth data, AHRQ said in a news release
. Built on interoperable standards such as HL7, the newly developed format also allows for data exchange and performance measurement.
A number of vendors already offer EHR systems for pediatric care, many of which were designed by pediatricians eager for software that more accurately captured the needs of their patient population. But many other vendors still don't offer such products.
“Children are special—they are not little adults where one size can be made to fit all, including one-size EHRs,” said Dr. Thomas McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which collaborated with the CMS and AHRQ on the project.
It's not the first federal effort to improve EHR offerings for children's healthcare. In June 2012, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a 44-page guide
for improving EHR usability in pediatric care.