Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) is an XML-based standard used to encode large clinical documents for easy data exchange. To help you adhere to this standard, we’ve created a special API which fully supports CDA release 2 (CDA R2).
The following sections explain how to use our API to navigate CDA’s various complexities, produce a useful document, and successfully achieve meaningful use:
- About CDA: A quick review of some common terms/concepts
- Iguana CDA Tutorial: A tutorial demonstrating how to produce a simple CDA document using our techniques
- CDA API Guide: Descriptions of each module and function included in the CDA API
- CDA Templates: A collection of CDA samples that you can use as a basis for your own CDA document
- CDA Cheat Sheet: A page that outlines our CDA process for quick reference
About Our Approach
We’ve invested a great deal of time evaluating the current techniques being used to generate CDA documents. We’ve concluded that the best approach is to apply only a minimum level of abstraction.
This might seem counter-inuitive, but there is method to our madness! All the frameworks that we’ve seen (both commercial and open source) seem to consist of massive code generators that populate big abstractions of Java stub code. The problem? This approach is nearly impossible to maintain or customize. If you want to create a CDA document for a real and specific purpose, you will eventually need much more fine-grained control so that you can tailor your output. With these current solutions, you would have to dive deep into the bowels of a complicated framework to understand how to alter it; alternatively, you would have to hack the CDA document after generating it. Neither of these scenarios seem particularly appetizing!
With our solution, you simply create and adjust the XML as you go. Our API allows you to build up and populate your CDA document using a collection of functions and lookup tables that are designed to make your life easier. The best part? Because you will be doing this in the Iguana Translator, you’ll see the resulting XML elements as they develop, in real-time and with instant feedback.
We are happy to announce that this technique is a success! We used it with Med-Evolve and it worked beautifully.