The Clinical Building Blocks (Belgian version)
Clinical Building Blocks (CBBs) are "detailed data specifications of medical concepts in a given context. Sometimes this concerns a single element (e.g. nationality), sometimes more than one element (e.g. medication), but these data specifications remain relatively small. The aim of the clinical building blocks is to specify precisely which terminology can be used without thereby implicitly choosing a given technical standard, reference model, or platform. This is because every care establishment does the latter for themselves. In this sense, therefore, the building blocks are 'agnostic' or 'neutral' (NFU, NICTIZ, 2015)."
The Clinical Building Blocks are an initiative of the 8 Dutch University Medical Centres (UMCs) to work together on the standardization of healthcare data. The reasons behind this initiative were various. The exchange of data between specialists and general hospitals becomes very much simpler when there exists a consensus as to what data definitions to use. In the area of research and indicators, it is also desirable and more efficient to record data (just once, if possible) as close as possible to the care process, and to extract this data, where possible, from the primary systems used by clinicians and other staff working in healthcare organisations.
Against this background, the Generic Data for Patient Transfers project was started in January 2012, as the first project within this collaboration. The aim of this project is to arrive at a nationally defined, generic data set that can be electronically exchanged and also re-used for research purposes. Besides the 8 UCMs, the Dutch national knowledge centre for IT and innovation in the healthcare sector (NICTIZ) also joined the project.
Background of the CBB-project in Belgium
Since 2013, the national “Action plan eHealth 2013-2018” prioritizes the consolidation and standardization of the scientific health care registries in Belgium. The department “healthdata.be” within the Scientific Institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP), funded by the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (INAMI-RIZIV), was created to coordinate this reform of the registries. The healthdata.be team started with a detailed survey with all known government sponsored registries. Information of more than 160 projects were published on the website healthstat.be. With this survey, more than 8000 variables requested by researches were inventoried. Analysis of these variables identified the need for a standard information model.
In the beginning of 2015, the healthdata.be team had several informal workshops with members of the NICTIZ and NFU project "Zorginformatiebouwstenen" (Clinical Building Blocks). Convinced that the CBB approach would be a good method to standardize the many variables that feed the many patient registries in Belgium, the healthdata.be team presented this CBB approach during the workshops (Q2 2015) for the actualization of the “Action plan eHealth 2013-2018”. Consequently, the Belgian adaptation of the CBBs was approved by the experts and the political steering committee and thus published in version 2.0 of the “Action plan eHealth 2013-2018” (Read more).
Scope of application
According to version 2.0 of the Roadmap eHealth 2013-2018, all recurrent scientific data collections in the field of health and health care should use the Belgian version of the Clinical Building Blocks. As of Q1 2016, all new projects sponsored by a federal or federated government should use the Belgian version of the Clinical Building Blocks for their data collection. By the end of 2017, all projects of the WIV-ISP and the RIZIV-INAMI should have implemented the Belgian version of the Clinical Building Blocks (List of projects).
Modification criteria and versions
During the start-up phase, the Dutch version of the Clinical Building Blocks need to be adapted for their use in the Belgian health care and research setting. For this adaptation, the "Belgian" modification criteria and versioning will align as much as possible with the modification criteria and versioning used in the Dutch NFU-NICTIZ project "Zorginformatiebouwstenen". Read more about the Modification criteria and versions.
Management process and roles
The management process and management roles within the Belgian adaptation project align as much as possible with the management process and roles used in the Dutch project "Zorginformatiebouwstenen". Read more about the Management process and the Management roles.
Clinical Building Blocks
The Table with the Clinical Building Blocks has 7 columns:
|CCD/CCR Section||This is the CCD/CCR section to which the Clinical Building Block belongs.||Not editable|
|Clinical Building Block (En.)||This is the English translation, commissioned by NICTIZ-NFU, of the original (Dutch) version of the NFU-NICTIZ Clinical Building Block. Each building block has the following prefixes: "be.en.hd.". The translation needs a review by Belgian (Clinical) experts in the field of health and health care.||Not editable|
|Nl. (Be)||This is the original version of the NFU-NICTIZ Clinical Building Block. Each building block has the following prefixes: "be.nl.hd.".||Not editable|
|Fr. (Be)||This is the French translation of the original (Dutch) version of the NFU-NICTIZ Clinical Building Block. Each building block has the following prefixes: "be.fr.hd.". The translation, commissioned by the healthdata.be team was made by a translation agency. This translation needs a review by French speaking Belgian (Clinical) experts in the field of health and health care.||Not editable|
|Status||This refers to the adaptation status of the Clinical Building Block.||Not editable|
|Collaborative version||This is the editable version used for collaborative review by external reviewers and the Core Group Clinical Building Blocks. Starting point is the English translation of the Clinical Building Block. Each building block has the following prefixes: "be.en.hd." and following suffix ".review". When the review and the modifications of the English collaborative version of the Clinical Building Block are completed, this version will be published as "be.en.hd.". Only after acceptance of the English version, the translations into Dutch and French can be completed and validated.||Editable|
|Discussion pages||This is the page used for discussions during the collaborative review by external reviewers and the Core Group Clinical Building Blocks.||Editable|
Clinical Building Blocks: Core set
Clinical Building Blocks: Extension
- Fred Smeele, members of the core group on Generic Data for Patient Transfers (01-03-2013) Accompanying document. Products. Generic Data for Patient Transfers, Version: 1.00, NICTIZ & NFU, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Fred Smeele, leden kerngroep Registratie aan de Bron (20-03-2015) Begeleidend document Zorginformatiebouwstenen Registratie aan de Bron (Producten Generieke Overdrachtsgegevens en Verpleegkundige uitbreiding), Versie: 2.00, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Interministrial Conference Public Health (14.10.2015) Plan eHealth 2013-2018: v2.0, Brussels, Belgium ( (Nl.)  (Fr.))