The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s first Data Element Library (DEL). The DEL is a new CMS database that supports the exchange of electronic health information. Using this free, centralized resource, the public for the first time can view the specific types of data that CMS requires post-acute care facilities (such as nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals) to collect as part of the health assessment of their patients. These assessments include questions and response options (data elements) about patients, including demographics, medical problems and other types of health evaluations. Many of these data elements have been standardized, which means that they are exactly the same no matter which type of post-acute care facility is using them. Healthcare facilities integrate all of this patient information into their medical record systems, and this information is used for multiple purposes, such as payment by CMS, quality measurement and quality improvement. It is important to note that the DEL doesn’t contain any patient-identifiable data whatsoever.
- CMS Data Element Library: https://del.cms.gov/
- Fact sheet about the CMS Data Element Library: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2018-Fact-sheets-items/2018-06-21.html
- For questions about the CMS Data Element Library, contact DELHELP@cms.hhs.gov