Clinical data content standards are determined by CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services), peer groups, or best practices from the industry. The standards are basically guidelines to follow for tracking data on certain clinical practices. The standards allow providers to identify areas for improvement and for patients to know the quality of care they are receiving.
For example, CMS requires all hospitals to report clinical data standards known as core measures. These measures are then used to determine the quality of care that patients receive in a hospital setting. Each hospital is compared to others in its region and in the nation.