Health Language Blog

Capturing Both Context and Conditions in Family Health History

Posted on 03/20/13 | Comments

Recording a structured family health history is a menu requirement in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, both for eligible providers* and eligible hospitals**. Both specifications require that the health history of first-degree relatives be recorded, and provide the choice of recording the history either in SNOMED CT or using the HL7 Pedigree standard. One of the key issues we’ve been working with clients on is how to capture both the context (which relative is being discussed) and the condition (medical issues associated with the relative).

The HL7 Pedigree standard provides very explicit directions on expressing context (using the Family Member Value Set). To express the condition, the Pedigree standard is flexible, allowing the use of a variety of terminologies (e.g. SNOMED CT, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10-CM) to capture the conditions that each relative has. Examples of the XML format for the HL7 Pedigree standard can be generated using the US Surgeon General website My Family Health Portrait.

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Topics: SNOMED, HL7, Family health history, terminology