The National Library of Medicine has teamed up with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and CMS to launch the Value Set Authority Center, an online library of vocabulary value sets for clinical quality measures included in Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, InformationWeek reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The VSAC provides lists of numbers and names from standard vocabularies, which are used to define clinical concepts used in the quality measures, such as diabetes or clinical visit.
The VSAC content "will gradually expand to incorporate value sets for other use cases, as well as for new measures and updates to replace existing measures," according to the National Library of Medicine website.
Stacey Empson -- managing director of health care solutions at CTG Health Solutions -- said the VSAC:
- Establishes an official vocabulary for meaningful use Stage 2 quality measures; and
- Requires twice-a-year updates, which will include testing, a review and an "objective evaluation" of the common vocabulary sets.
Empson said that the library is publicly available at no cost and that the value sets are easily downloadable.
However, the one drawback is that it creates tighter controls over specific value sets, which could limit flexibility, Emerson said (McNickle, InformationWeek, 10/11).