CCD vs HL7, which should you choose?

CCD vs HL7, which should you choose?

This is part of our data migration blog series – a range of topics intended to help organizations who are migrating from one EHR to another.

When beginning a data migration one of the first questions that needs to be addressed is what method will be used to convert the clinical data. Currently there are two methods for converting clinical data elements, Clinical Continuity Documents (CCD), and HL7 messages.

Check out our Tackling Transitions whitepaper for more information on clinical data conversions.

CCDs are used to discretely convert certain patient level data elements. Whereas other elements when converted using a CCD will only be viewable as a read only report.



It is important to note when using a CCD to convert data elements discretely end-users will be required to reconcile the information prior to it being entered into a patient’s chart.

When using HL7 messages to convert patient data both patient level data elements and encounter level data elements can be converted discretely.  These data elements are entered directly into a patients chart and require no reconciliation.

So which method should an organization use when migrating clinical data?  The typical approach taken by Galen is to use a combination of both HL7 and CCDs.  Certain elements, such as notes and lab results require the use of HL7.  Other elements such as active problems can use either HL7 or CCDs.  At Galen we find the best approach is to use HL7 messages only for the clinical data elements that cannot be reconciled by end users.  For example, if an organization was converting notes and active problems. Our approach would be to convert the notes using HL7 messages, and convert the active problems using a CCD.  The logic behind this is that notes can only be converted through HL7 messages. By using a CCD to convert active problems end users will now be required to reconcile those problems prior to entering them into an end users chart.

Depending on which clinical data elements are being converted Galen can guide you through the process so the most appropriate method is utilized. Regardless of which methods are selected for converting clinical data Galen ETL allows for a great deal of customization in the data that is converted.

For further information, make sure to catch our full data migration blog series or contact us below:

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