Family Health History Overview

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There are many organizations and several initiatives all working to improve the collection and use of family health history (FHH) in clinical care. This page will assist both the non-technical business person, and the technical person without a standards background, in learning about the value and benefits of implementing the HL7 Pedigree model for transmitting family health history data.

Improving healthcare quality

1. Healthcare needs to increase the volume and clinical value of collecting and using FHH.

2. Healthcare needs to use FHH for disease risk assessment and guide preventive and screening interventions.

3. Healthcare needs to use FHH to inform the clinically appropriate use of genetic testing.

Improving clinical systems

4. Healthcare IT needs to build new tools that not only moves from paper to computer, but also moves from text to coded data.

5. The advanced FHH tool should use complete family pedigrees.

6. The advanced FHH tool survey questions should be based on the AHIC guidelines.

7. The advanced FHH tool should provide data that can be used for decision support within the EHR.

Improving interoperability

8. The advanced FHH tool should be able to transmit and receive HL7 Pedigree-compliant messages.

9. All FHH collection tools, whether consumer-facing or within a clinical system, should be interoperable.

10. The consumer-facing tools should promote the sharing of data between both healthcare providers and family members.

Promoting current efforts

11. My Family Health Portrait from the Surgeon General

12. Military, VA, Indian Health Service FHH programs

13. HughesRiskApps for FHH of breast cancer

14. OurFamilyHealth FHH program by Intermountain Healthcare

15. Web services for familial disease risk assessment

16. Documents (coming soon)

17. Continuity of Care Document (CCD)

18. Conical Pedigree Project

19. HL7 Ambassador presentations on FHH

20. Current ARRA grants for FHH

21. Inherited Health