Consolidated CDA Release 2.1 StructureDefinition Publication
2.1 - CI Build United States of America flag

Consolidated CDA Release 2.1 StructureDefinition Publication, published by Health Level Seven. This is not an authorized publication; it is the continuous build for version 2.1). This version is based on the current content of and changes regularly. See the Directory of published versions

How To Read

How To Read Consolidated CDA Release 2.1 Structure Definition Implementation Guide

The following document provides guidance to readers of the Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) Release 2.1 Implementation Guide published using HL7 Structure Definition. With the switch to representing C-CDA templates using Structure Definitions, the presentation of the templates is different. Although all the same content is present, it can be found in different places and in different formats. This guide highlights where all template content can be found.

Volume 1

The IG Home Page and the pages located in the Information menu present the content of Volume 1:

Figure 1 - C-CDA Web Publication Menu

Volume 2

The Artifact Index/Summary page presents the templates located in Volume 2. The Artifact Summary page lists the Document Templates, the Section Templates, the Entry Templates, and the Other Templates. As well, there is a listing of all the Examples found in the guide.

C-CDA Templates are represented as Resource Profiles in the Implementation Guide. For the rest of this document, we will use Templates to refer to what is published in the original specification and Profiles to refer to what is published in the new web publication. There are several different ways of viewing a Resource Profile. The most useful tab is the Differential Table, but the Text Summary does provide some information and the Snapshot Table presents all the elements present in the template/profile.

Figure 2 - Resource Profile Information Tabs

Template Differentials

All the Resource Profiles inherit from either a CDA Clinical Statement structure or from another Resource Profile. The Differential Table shows the difference from what the Profile inherits from. This will result in a few times where a Profile shows slightly different content from its corresponding Template. For those instances, looking at the Snapshot Table will show all of the constraints including those inherited from the parent Profile.

Template Identifier

The Template Identifier is used within the Profile URL as well as listed as another identifier of the template. If a Template Identifier has a version string, that will only be found in the identifier.

Figure 3 - Template Identifier
Figure 4 - Web Publication Profile URL/Identifier

Template Contexts

The Context tables in the pdf publication that lists the templates that contain a given template and the templates that are contained by the same template are represented in two different manners.

The Contained By templates:

Figure 5 – Sample Template Contained By Table

are listed in the Usage section of the Profile:

Figure 6 - Sample Profile Usage Section

The Contained templates:

Figure 7 - Sample Template Contains Table

are listed in the Text Summary tab under the Structures heading:

Figure 8 - Sample Profile Structures Summary

NOTE: The indication of optional or required for contained by and contains is not present in the corresponding profile. This can be seen in Figure 7 where the three templates have “(optional)” while the profiles in Figure 8 do not. This means that sometimes a template may be listed twice in the Contained By or Contains in the pdf publication, (once as required and once as optional) but will only be listed once in the corresponding profile documentation.

Template Constraints

All the template constraints can be found in two equivalent places in the profile listing. The Differential Table tab presents constraints as they affect the underlying structure (Document, Section, Entry, or Other). Cardinality constraints, fixed value constraints, template constraints, and terminology constraints will all be found in the Differential Table. Some of the text constraints that affect a specific element can also be found in the Differential Table.

Figure 9 - Sample Template Constraint Table
Figure 10 - Sample Profile Differential Tab

NOTE: For elements that repeat but have been constrained, the Profile will be “sliced”, and the constraint will be found on one of the slices. This applies to fixed value constraints as well as template constraints.

NOTE: If a template inherits constraints from a parent profile, e.g., Care Team Member Act inherits from Care Team Organizer, the full constraints will not be present in the Differential Tab of the child profile but will be found in in the Snapshot Tab of the child profile, or in the Differential Tab of the parent profile.

The Detailed Descriptions tab will have all the Template Constraints listed by the specific element being constrained. This is where constraint numbers as found in the pdf publication are asserted.

Figure 11 - Sample Template Constraint Documentation
Figure 12 - Sample Profile Detailed Descriptions

Template Terminology Bindings

All terminology constraints are represented as value set bindings in the profile listing. All bound value sets are represented by the name of the value set and this name is a hyperlink to the appropriate extension found in National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center (VSAC). SHALL constraints are represented as Required bindings while SHOULD and MAY are represented as Preferred bindings.

Figure 13 - Sample Template Constraint Table showing Vocabulary Constraints
Figure 14 - Sample Profile Differential showing Terminology Bindings

NOTE: Since the Value Set expansions are not present in the Implementation Guide itself, readers must have a UMLS account to login to VSAC to see the expansions.

Template References

All template constraints that refer to a separate template (e.g., document templates referencing section or entry templates) are represented as specific Types in the Profile.

Figure 15 - Profile Differential showing Element Types

In Figure 15, there are six entryRelationship slices that refer to other profiles and this is shown in the Element Type column. The Type name is the Template Name with all spaces and punctuation removed, e.g., Medication Supply Order becomes MedicationSupplyOrder. Each name is a hyperlink to the appropriate profile definition.

Template Examples

If a template has examples, those will be found listed on the Examples tab of the profile. Each example will be listed with its name which is a hyperlink to the example XML instance.

Figure 16 -- Sample Profile Example

Providing Feedback

Feedback on the C-CDA Structured Definition web publication can be made by clicking the “Propose a change” at the bottom of every page.

Figure 17 - Propose a Change link

Following that link will take the reader to the HL7 JIRA. On the JIRA, clicking on the Create button will allow one to create an issue against the HL7 Software Change Request project. The component should be set to “C-CDA Web Publishing”. A clear summary and description of the issue should be submitted.

Feedback on this document can also be submitted by navigating to the HL7 JIRA and creating an issue. Refer to the “How to Read” document in the issue description.