Development of Common Formats

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The Development Process

AHRQ refines existing Common Formats and considers new types for development on an ongoing basis. The first step after development of a new or updated Common Formats is review by the Patient Safety Workgroup (PSWG) to assure consistency with definitions and formats used by other Federal agencies. The PSWG includes representatives from several agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and from patient safety programs in the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. After addressing recommendations made by the PSWG, AHRQ seeks input from the public. A Notice of Availability to comment on the draft Common Formats is published in the Federal Register and the draft is posted on the PSO Privacy Protection Center's (PSOPPC) website. Select to access the PSOPPC Common Formats commenting tool.

After the initial comment period, the PSOPPC convenes a meeting of the PSOPPC Common Formats Expert Panel to review comments submitted by the public. These meetings are announced on the same PSOPPC website and are open to the public. The PSOPPC Expert Panel reviews the comments and makes recommendations to AHRQ.

AHRQ then finalizes the Common Formats draft and releases it through the PSOPPC. New Common Formats may be released as a "beta" version, which includes only the event description. Once finalized, a version number is assigned, such as "CFER-H V2.0." Final Common Formats are released with a complete set of technical specifications that provide direction to software developers for electronic implementation.

Public comment on the Common Formats can be submitted on an ongoing basis. The comments are periodically reviewed and considered for future updates. At this time, any comments on the Common Formats versions that are active for reporting can be submitted through the email.

Page last reviewed January 2024
Page originally created January 2014

Internet Citation: Development of Common Formats. Content last reviewed January 2024. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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