Query Health: standards-based, cross-platform population health surveillance

Check out Jeff Klann’s recent publication in JAMIA that describes Query Health, a government-led initiative to enable distributed, secure, standards-based population health measurement. The reference implementation uses two technologies also being used within PCORnet: the i2b2 clinical data analytics warehouse and the PopMedNet secure query distribution system.

Query Health supports participation of disparate organizations, with different underlying platforms, data structures, and governance policies. For this it uses a distributed query model. PopMedNet sends ‘questions to the data’ in a standards-based, platform-agnostic format. Data partners transform the question into code that can be executed on their local platform. In our i2b2-PopMedNet integration, we wrote a translator to convert the standardized questions (in the Health Quality Measures Format) into the i2b2 query format. These queries execute against a QueryHealth ontology that uses an agreed-upon data model. hQuery, a document database with a very different structure, also integrated with PopMedNet and executed the same inputs, using a JavaScript translator. We piloted the Query Health Reference implementation successfully at three sites.

This paper demonstrates a unique way to study health information across many sites while allowing individual organizations to process queries, disclose only the minimum necessary information to answer the query, and leverage their existing information technology investment through platform-independent queries.

The full-text publication can be found at the following link: http://jamia.bmj.com/content/early/2014/04/03/amiajnl-2014-002707.full?eaf