NCQA Makes Clinical Quality Language Software Open Source

May 11, 2023
The move should make it easier for developers to understand requirements and test capabilities to work with digital measure content from NCQA

The National Committee for Quality Assurance is publishing requirements and open source software for interpreting and executing clinical quality language (CQL) so that any organization or software developer can use HEDIS Digital Content Services.

The move should make it easier for developers to understand requirements and test capabilities to work with digital measure content from NCQA. The move is part of NCQA’s larger goal of convening and aligning stakeholders around digital quality requirements and testing.

“There is a great need for data sharing and interoperability between payers and providers to ensure timely and accurate measurement of healthcare quality,” said NCQA Chief Technology Officer Edward Yurcisin, in a statement. “We’re advancing the standard so anyone, anywhere can use digital quality content from NCQA or other sources.”

Clinical Quality Language is an expression language curated by HL7 that CMS, NCQA and others have adopted for digital quality measures. NCQA uses CQL to provide digital HEDIS measure content, including the NCQA Digital Content Services product line launched in early 2023. Incorporating FHIR CQL engine code in open-source code will help organizations use standards-based electronic health data with quality measures and clinical decision support to improve transparency and patient care.

“Sharing FHIR CQL know-how helps diverse organizations and technology stacks support CQL and HEDIS digital content,” continued Yurcisin. “That, in turn, helps embed quality in health systems everywhere and will help make FHIR CQL engine code for quality measures faster, more scalable and more extensible.”

Firely manages the open-source .NET repository where NCQA will publish CQL software. NCQA and Firely will convene interested parties around requirements and testing.

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