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201709 Clinical Reasoning

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Return to Sept 2017 Proposals

Clinical Reasoning Track

This track defines several scenarios related to clinical quality that exercise the resources defined by the Clinical Decision Support and Clinical Quality Information Work Groups, as well as profiles and usage guidance defined in the Clinical Reasoning Module.

Thanks to all who participated in San Diego! Here is a link to the connectathon report: Connectathon Report

This track will coordinate with:

Participant Pack

This document provides the latest information for connectathon participants including server links and example resources:

Participant Pack

Zulip Chat

The Zulip Chat will be used to coordinate among participants during the connectathon:

Zulip Chat

Submitting WG/Project/Implementer Group


The CDS and CQI Work Groups are incorporating feedback from previous ballots, prior connect-a-thons, as well as other work groups to refine and improve the structures used to enable the representation and evaluation of quality artifacts using FHIR. These efforts have resulted in the FHIR Clinical Reasoning Module. The scenarios in this connect-a-thon track proposal exercise key resources and use cases of this module.

Proposed Track Lead

  • Bryn Rhodes
    • Email: bryn at databaseconsultinggroup dot com
    • Skype: bryn.rhodes

See Connectathon_Track_Lead_Responsibilities

Expected participants

  • National Comprehensive Cancer Care Network (NCCN)
  • Evinance
  • ESAC, Inc.
  • HarmonIQ Health Systems Corporation
  • University of Utah
  • Optum


CDS Service

The CDS Service role provides real-time clinical decision support services. This component enables a consumer to request clinical decision support based on the current context. The consumer provides relevant contextual information as part of the request, and receives clinically relevant guidance as a set of resources describing potential actions to be taken.

For this role, the service is implemented using the CDS Hooks specification.


The EHR role consumes real-time clinical decision support services. The client integrates decision support at appropriate points in clinical workflow, allowing users of the system to respond to the guidance presented by the decision support system.

For this role, the EHR uses the CDS Hooks specification to invoke decision support.

Knowledge Management Repository

A FHIR Server that implements search and retrieval functionality for the various quality artifact resources.

Knowledge Artifact Consumer

A system that consumes knowledge artifacts from a knowledge management repository

Order Set Service

A service capable of evaluating order set definitions to produce order sets applicable to a specific patient and/or context.

Order Set Client

A client capable of requesting the evaluation of an order set definition for a specific patient and/or context, and consuming the resulting order set instance.

Measure Reporting Service

A system that provides measure evaluation results


The Clinical Reasoning Module provides documentation for the resources that will be exercised by the above roles. Specifically, the following resources are utilized as part of those scenarios:

In addition, the CDS Hooks specification is used to provide real-time provider-facing decision support integration with a guidance consumer:

CDC Opioid Guideline Scenario

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines relating to the prescription of opioids:

Opioid Prescription Guideline

An implementation guide is being produced that represents portions of this guideline as computable artifacts using the FHIR Clinical Reasoning Module:

Opioid Prescribing Support Implementation Guide

This scenario will focus on recommendation #5 from the guideline, that providers should take additional precautions when prescribing dosages at or above 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME/day):

Action: A patient is being prescribed opioids for chronic pain that result in a total MME/day of >= 50 and < 90. The EHR calls a CDS Service to evaluate the medication being prescribed and receives a message that the patient is at high risk for opioid overdose, and tapering dosage should be considered.
Success Criteria: An EHR user is provided appropriate guidance when prescribing opoids
Bonus Point: The service returns a recommended reduced dosage and the user is able to accept that modification to the order

For the purposes of this scenario, long-term opioid therapy is defined as use of opoids on most days for > 3 months, and the patient does not have metastatic cancer. To determine these, the CDS Service will need to access:

  • Current Medication List
  • Problem List
  • Encounter Diagnoses within 12 months

For communicating medications, the service will expect information in a MedicationRequest or MedicationStatement, with at least the following supplied:

  • Medication as an RxNorm code
  • Dosage
  • Frequency

The implementation guide provides computable artifacts describing the calculations for MME based on the CDC Guidance. The CDS Service can use these representations to provide the functionality described for this scenario.

NCCN Chemotherapy Regimen Scenario

In this scenario, a Knowledge Artifact Provider defines and distributes an NCCN Chemotherapy Regimen to a Knowledge Artifact Consumer.

This scenario is part of the ONC Tech Lab NCCN Order Templates Project.

Retrieve an Order Template

Action: An Artifact Consumer retrieves the latest version of a specific order template
Precondition: An Artifact Repository has appropriate order templates defined to support the retrieval
Success Criteria: A participant can successfully use the FHIR Server to retrieve the PlanDefinition resource describing the order template
Bonus point: The service supports searching by indications in addition to disease
Bonus point: The consumer can successfully validate the PlanDefinition using the NCCN Profile

Ingest an Order Template

Action: An Order Set Service imports a simple Order Template definition that contains no optionality
Precondition: A PlanDefinition has been retrieved from an Artifact Repository
Success Criteria: The Order Set Service can now apply the imported plan definition
Bonus point: The Order Set Service ingests a plan definition with optionality

Apply an Order Template for a specific patient

Action: An Order Set Client applies a given order template to a specific patient
Precondition: The Order Sset Service has an appropriate operation defined to support application (this may be $apply on PlanDefinition, or it may be a ServiceDefinition/$evaluate)
Success Criteria: The Order Set Client receives an appropriately built CarePlan resource
Bonus point: The service returns a CarePlan with a RequestGroup to support describing optionality at different levels

Determine Adherence (On/Off Protocol) (TBD)

Success Criteria:
Bonus point:

Zika Virus Reporting Scenario

The ability to quickly address newly emerging clinical hazards using clinical decision support is essential to assure providers and patients have useful and appropriate information in a timely fashion. Such an "all hazards approach" must identify appropriate triggers, determine presence or absence of exposure criteria and recommend testing and treatment. Zika virus exposure is an excellent example of a condition with highly significant impact for pregnant women and their developing children. Zika virus also represents an evolving clinical situation requiring content refresh frequently to evaluated and manage patients effectively to improve the care and recommendations provided. The scenario will address methods to implement triggers, and recommend timely and appropriate evaluation, testing, and follow up. Specifically, the laboratory test ordered varies baed on the timing and presence or absence of symptoms, and the time of exposure. The scenario will address the clinical workflow to provide patient care and to report accurate and complete information to public health.

In this scenario, a patient presents at the point-of-care, and Zika Virus management is triggered if the patient is a woman of child-bearing age. As an alternative, Zika Virus management may be triggered by a mobile application that detects travel to an area where Zika exposure is an identified risk.

This scenario is part of the ONC Tech Lab Zika Virus Project

Identify Zika Risk and Recommend Testing

Action: A pregnant patient presents for care, the system requests guidance for Zika reporting and collections information to identify non-frequent travel, no symptoms, returned 1 week ago, PCR negative, run IgM (positive), then PRNT (result Zika virus > 10)
Precondition: The system is configured to trigger the Zika guidance when a patient presents for care.
Success Criteria: The system recommends appropriate testing based on the Zika All Hazards Approach.

Recent Zika Virus Infection

Action: When recent Zika Virus Infection is detected for a pregnant patient, recommend ultrasound, consider amniocentesis, and consider reporting to the health department
Precondition: Lab results have been returned indicating presence of Zika Virus infection.
Success Criteria: The system recommends appropriate ultrasound and amniocentesis based on the recent infection
Bonus Point: The system creates an electronic Initial Case Report (eICR) for submission to RCKMS to determine reportability.

Payer Extract Scenario

In this scenario, a Payer uses a Measure Processing Component to extract relevant data from an EHR to enable computation of payer quality measures.

Three cohort definition measures are supported for these scenarios:

  • Controlling Blood Pressure (Observation resources conforming to the DAF-Vital Sign profile, blood pressure measurements)
  • Adult BMI Assessment (Observation resources conforming to the DAF-Vital Sign profile, height and weight measurements)
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening (Condition, Procedure, and Observation resources)

The Measure Artifacts for these measures can be accessed on the following test server:

Patient bundles to test these measures can be found here:

The participant pack linked at the top of this track also contains more information about this scenario, including example request/responses that can be used to test evaluation of the measure cohorts.

Single Measure Individual Open Access

Action: A Payer issues an $evaluate-measure operation to a Measure Processor to determine required patient information. The inputs to this operation are:
  • Measure to be evaluated (this is part of the url of the request)
  • Patient Id
  • Last Retrieved On (the date the data was last retrieved, only data that is new/updated since this date should be returned)
Precondition: The EHR must be prepopulated with information for the given patient that satisfies the requirements of the measure being evaluated.
Success Criteria: The Payer receives a MeasureReport with the url to a Bundle containing the required patient information.
Bonus point: Use the Last Retrieved On parameter in successive executions to demonstrate incremental data exchange

Multiple Measures

Action: A Payer issues an $evaluate-measure operation to a Measure Processor to determine required patient information for multiple measures in a single request. The results are combined in a single bundle to minimize bandwidth usage.
Precondition: The EHR must be prepopulated with information for the given patient that satisfies the requirements of the measures being evaluated.
Success Criteria: The Payer receives a MeasureReport with the url to a Bundle containing the required patient information.
Bonus point: Demonstrate that a patient resource that was involved in multiple measures is communicated only once in the results.