popHealth Concept of Operations
POPHEALTH WAS DESIGNED to operate within a provider’s infrastructure. This design decision was made to address privacy
and security concerns regarding access to information associated wtih individual patient records.
Source: MITRE Corporation. “popHealth: A Clinical Quality Measure Reporting Tool.” 2011. www.mitre.org/work/health/downloads/pophealth.pdf.
“The meaningful use clinical quality measure reporting process is made real for healthcare providers through both hands-on experience with the popHealth demo system on the www.
projectpophealth.org Web site and downloading the open-source system for use in their practices,” says Lisa Tutterow,
program manager for popHealth at MITRE.
“EHR system vendors are supported in their clinical qual-
ity measure reporting development efforts with the ability to
download and inspect the application code and incorporate
any pieces that can augment their systems with no associated
Organizations and vendors can view demonstrations of
popHealth and learn more about the software by visiting
There has been a positive response to popHealth in the pilot
tests, and it is anticipated that the MITRE Corporation will work
with ONC to develop a popHealth clinical quality measure reporting tool for the inpatient quality measures.
“Though the current popHealth project was designed to model the meaningful use eligible professional [in the ambulatory
setting], the positive feedback it has received has encouraged
consideration for further development of popHealth for inpatient measures,” says Rob McCready, project leader and chief
engineer for MITRE.
HIM’s Role in Quality Reporting
The role of the HIM professional is evolving and becoming more
crucial as the American healthcare industry undergoes a transformation. Some liken this transformation to building a highway while also trying to drive on it. This is the current landscape
of healthcare quality.
With healthcare reform, more and more legislation is being
handed down with reportable quality measures to ensure accountability and performance. The HIM professional will be the
leader for the healthcare provider and organization to ensure
that data are valid and coded correctly.
“The accuracy of an EHR’s coded clinical data is key to the ac-
curacy of clinical quality measure reports,” says Maggie Lohnes,
RN, clinical lead for popHealth. “The meaningful use specifica-
tions for clinical quality measures call for data coded in ICD,
CPT, SNOMED, and other clinical lexicons. The role of HIM pro-
fessionals in assuring the accuracy of the coded data is critical to
the success of clinical quality measure reporting.”
The structure and format of data must evolve as the industry
moves from unstructured data consisting of dictation, free-text
fields, and handwritten notes to structured data consisting of
structured data elements.
HIM professionals need to ensure building blocks including
data validity, relevant standard code sets, and accurate, com-