Navigating the alphabet soup of HIT acronyms

From the names of standardized code sets to the abbreviations for professional societies, health IT is full of acronyms. We’ve got a quick overview below.
Alphabet Soup

Having trouble keeping your CPT®, LOINC®, and ICD-10-CM straight? What about knowing your HCC from your HIE? Health IT is full of acronyms and abbreviations – here’s a guide to help to navigate the alphabet soup of the industry.

ACO: Accountable Care Organization. A group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high-quality care to a designated group of patients.

API: Application Programming Interface. A set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software.

C-CDA: Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture. A popular, XML-based markup standard that defines the structure of certain medical records to enable the better exchange of such information.

CDR: Clinical Data Registry. A clinical data registry records information about the health status of patients and the care they receive over time.

CIT: Clinical interface terminology. A tool that allows clinicians to use natural clinical language when documenting in the EHR while connecting their words to standardized, administrative codes behind the scenes.

CPT: Current Procedural Terminology. A coding manual developed by the American Medical Association that is used throughout hospital systems to identify and document medical procedures.

FHIR: Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. An IT standard for health data exchange developed by Health Level Seven International (HL7).

HCC: Hierarchical Condition Category. Sets of medical codes that are linked to specific clinical diagnoses and are used by CMS as part of a risk-adjustment model that identifies individuals with serious acute or chronic conditions.

HIE: Health Information Exchange. Organizations that allow for the secure and timely exchange of protected health information (PHI) between providers, caregivers, health insurers, and other organizations that have an interest in a patient’s care.

HL7: Health Level 7 International. A nonprofit organization that develops standards that govern how electronic health information is exchanged.

ICD-10-CM: International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification. A system that classifies medical diagnoses across healthcare settings based on the manual produced by the World Health Organization.

IDN: Integrated Delivery Network. Integrated delivery networks, or health systems, are organizations that own and operate a network of healthcare facilities in a defined geographic area.

LOINC: Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes. A system used to electronically transmit vast amounts of health data, including clinical laboratory test orders and results.

ML: Machine Learning. A branch of AI and computer science which focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy.

NDC: National Drug Code. A unique, three-segment number which serves as the FDA’s identifier for a given drug.

NLP: Natural Language Processing. A branch of computer science (specifically AI – artificial intelligence) concerned with giving computers the ability to understand text and spoken words in much the same way human beings can.

PGx: Pharmacogenomics. The study of how a person’s genetic profile determines their body’s responses to specific medications.

RAF score: Risk Adjustment Factor score. The risk score assigned to each patient in a risk adjustment payment model. RAF scores are used by healthcare organizations to help predict the cost of caring for a patient.

RDM: Reference Data Management. Provides the infrastructure required to establish a single source of truth, enable interoperability, and optimize analytics for regulatory and value-based programs.

RxNorm®: A catalog that provides a “normalized” name for each brand-name or generic drug, plus a unique identifier that makes it possible to clearly identify a given drug.

SDOH: Social Determinants of Health. The non-medical factors that influence health outcomes – such as education, food insecurity, unemployment.

SNOMED CT®: Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms. A standardized, international, multilingual core set of clinical healthcare terminology that can be used in EHRs to capture, record, and share clinical data for use in healthcare organizations.

More questions? We’ve got answers. Check out our FAQ page for more on all things health IT.

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association. All rights reserved. 

SNOMED and SNOMED CT are registered trademarks of SNOMED International. 

RxNorm® is a registered trademark of the National Library of Medicine.

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