CLAIM (CLinical Accounting InforMation) is a means of data interchange that links clinical accounting to the electronic medical charts of patients. An advantage of standardizing and loosely connecting (giving transparency to) electronic data interchanges between electronic medical chart systems and clinical accounting systems (or receipt computer) is that the development of electronic chart systems is promoted. At the present time, a large number of manufacturers are planning to enter the electronic medical chart business. For vendors who wish to enter the electronic medical chart business but do not possess their own independent clinical accounting systems, an interface must be developed for each of the major clinical accounting systems. By planning and approving CLAIM, an electronic medical chart vendor can manage by simply developing a type of interface for the CLAIM. This leads to improved development efficiency and reduced cost. The system has advantages for clinical accounting system vendors, too. For instance, if a user claims that an electronic medical chart be adopted, new and independent development will not be required; moreover, a portion of the information obtained from patients' paper charts can be automatically extracted from the electronic chart.
The MedXML Consortium developed and manages the Medical Markup Language (MML), a medical information interchange language that enables different facilities to electronically interchange clinical data. As MML advanced, it became necessary to develop specialized structures for various fields; however, it was impossible for this organization to cover all medical care fields. Furthermore, considering the effect that expected frequent partial structural developments and modifications would have on the overall structure, this arrangement was not efficient with respect to version control and other points. Thus, in Version 2 and subsequent versions of MML, a method was adopted by which XML Namespace was employed to modularize certain collections of information and, when necessary, combine modules for use. In this way it became possible to propose descriptive formats that are peculiar to each medical care field and to divide logic structure development work into specialized areas.
The CLAIM modules (appointment request module and point/monetary amount module) defined in the CLAIM specifications were developed as MML modules as a part of such MML development. CLAIM was not included in MML specifications because of reasons such as the following:
- Due to medical reasons, it is highly possible that version updates will occur frequently.
- In contrast to MML, it will not become an international specification because its structure is characteristic of Japan.
- Since specification control centers on medical vendors, the control group will differ from MML.
Since MML is a higher-level standard than CLAIM, the provisions that are included in the MML specifications apply to CLAIM as well.