For EHR Vendors

This site provides a small core set of recommended common data elements (CDEs) from which vendors may select to include in Electronic Health Records (EHR) of Substance Use Disorders (SUD). The National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (NIDA CTN) facilitated and participated in various workshops, symposia and other expert meetings in 2009-2011 to reach a consensus among practicing physician members of professional associations and federal and state agencies on a core set of data elements that would be extremely useful to include in EHRs of SUD in general medical care. The objective is to ensure that the data collected would provide practitioners with wide access to standardized data on SUD to improve healthcare decisions and to allow meaningful exchange and analysis to address important clinical and research questions of broad interest for SUD. This objective necessitates that the questions be validated (or at a minimum standardized), be very brief and suitable for administration in the tightly constrained workflow of primary care, and address those issues of critical importance to improving healthcare in the general medical setting, specifically screening, brief assessment and clinical decision support for substance use. The rationale and processes used to select specific data elements for this core set of data elements are provided in the following references [1-5]. To ensure meaningful exchange and compatibility of the data elements into the future, all of the recommended CDEs have been developed and curated according to the ISO/IEC 11179 Metadata Registry standard and archived in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) cancer Data Standards Registry (caDSR), which is the source of all CDEs on this website. The small set of CDEs specifically intended for use in EHRs in primary care are categorized separately for ease of access. Vendors are strongly encouraged to select SUD data elements for their systems from this list and thus disseminate use of a core set of common standards nationwide. Other standardized CDEs principally intended for clinical research on SUD may also be considered for EHRs for specific purposes. Many of these CDEs are derived from the Substance Abuse and Addiction (SAA) project and other components of the Phenotypes and eXposures (PhenX) project sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute.

  1. Tai B, Gore-Langton RE, Ghitza, UE, Lindblad R, Subramanian G, Shide D. Response to commentaries. Addiction 108(1):12-3, 2013.
  2. Ghitza UE, Gore-Langton RE, Lindblad R, Shide D, Subramanian G, Tai B. Common data elements for substance use disorders in electronic health records: the NIDA Clinical Trials Network experience. Addiction 109(1):3-8, 2013.
  3. Tai B, McLellan AT. Integrating information on substance use disorders into electronic health record systems. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 43(1):12-9, 2012.
  4. Tai B, Boyle M, Ghitza U, Kaplan RM, Clark HW, Gersing K. Meaningful use of electronic behavioral health data in primary health care. Science Translational Medicine 4 (119):119mr3, 2012.
  5. Ghitza UE, Sparenborg S, Tai B. Improving drug abuse treatment delivery through adoption of harmonized electronic health record systems. Journal of Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation 2:125-131, 2011.