About Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs)
What Are They and How Are They Useful?
CCDs are a type of electronic document that summarize patient information and help providers communicate clinical information during transitions of care.
With the rise of electronic health record usage, the need for a standardized way to exchange comprehensive clinical documents between providers — beyond individual results and reports — became clear. Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) were developed to meet this need and their usage is being bolstered by Meaningful Use. As the technology evolves and health systems become more interoperable, document exchange will be seen more and more. Here are some frequently asked questions on CCDs, and the C-CDA framework those documents are a part of, to help you understand them better.
What is a CCD?
CCD is a generic term for an electronically generated, patient-specific clinical summary document. As a result, CCDs are sometimes called a few different names – Continuity of Care Document, Summary of Care Document, Summarization of Episode Note – just to name a few. For this article, we will use Continuity of Care Document or CCD. The purpose of a CCD is to improve communication between health care providers during a transition of care – when a patient is being referred to another provider or coming back to their normal provider after a hospital stay, for example. CCDs are generated out of a provider’s electronic health record (EHR) system and include care summary information.