Uniform Data System Modernization Initiative

Launched in 2016, this initiative aims to:

  • Reduce reporting burden
  • Improve data quality
  • Better measure Health Center Program services and outcomes.

The Initiative includes four major components:

  • Reporting Modernization. Simplify UDS reporting through information technology (IT) enhancements.
  • Content Modernization. Review UDS tables and content to improve the quality of data collected.
  • Stakeholder Engagement. Allow stakeholders to provide feedback on reporting enhancements and suggest changes to UDS tables and measures.
  • Modernization Testing. Test proposed changes to UDS to determine whether a change is feasible.

UDS Reporting Modernization

HRSA has created enhancements to make UDS reporting easier and less burdensome for Health Center Program awardees. These reporting enhancements:

  • Provide more time to understand annual changes to the UDS content.
  • Make it easier for health centers to submit UDS data.
  • Allow multiple staff to work on the UDS report at the same time.

Health centers can enter and validate data early, before the reporting period opens each January. They can do this using the Preliminary Reporting Environment (PRE). Health Centers also can enter data offline, using an Excel file or Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) file. More details follow and are available in the UDS Overview and Modernization Videos.

Preliminary Reporting Environment (PRE)

The PRE is available during November and December. It allows Health Center Program awardees to enter available UDS data. Entering data in the PRE helps identify data errors early and gives health centers extra time to compile and prepare data.

Offline Excel File

Health centers can download UDS tables in an Excel format on local computers. Information from electronic health records is placed in the Excel file. This makes it easier to enter data. The tables  can also be filled out by multiple staff, which supports team-based data entry. Health centers can then upload the completed Excel file into the EHBs. Health centers can use the error report to correct the data offline in Excel, or online in the EHBs.

Offline HTML File

Health centers can download the UDS tables in a format similar to the EHBs. The HTML file provides real-time data validations as information is entered. Like the offline Excel file, multiple people can enter data into different tables at the same time. As each staff member completes their portion in Excel, health centers can import those portions into the offline HTML file. Health center staff can also export specific portions to share with colleagues for review before uploading the data into the EHBs.

UDS Content Modernization

The changes to UDS tables and content will improve the quality of the data reported to HRSA. They also will help better measure the impact of the Health Center Program. Improving the use of electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) and electronic health record (EHR) systems can reduce reporting burden. At the same time, it will increase insights to health center services and patient health outcomes.

HRSA uses Program Assistance Letters (PALs) and Federal Register Notices to communicate UDS changes to Health Center Program awardees and other stakeholders. Visit the Uniform Data System (UDS) Program Assistance Letters page.

UDS Stakeholder Engagement 

Stakeholder engagement is instrumental to the success of the UDS Modernization Initiative. Health centers and other UDS stakeholders have multiple opportunities to share their feedback on UDS Modernization activities. For current information on UDS Modernization activities, view the Modernization videos.

UDS Test Cooperative (UTC)

The UDS Test Cooperative (UTC) tests proposed changes to UDS and provides evidence on whether a change is feasible. The UTC is a voluntary group of stakeholders from health centers, Primary Care Associations, Health Center-Controlled Networks, and Health IT Vendors. This group is led by a Steering Committee representing health centers from across the ten HHS Regions.

Health centers and other UDS stakeholders are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback, and share ideas for UDS improvements by visiting the Health Center Program Support page.

Modernization Resources

For UDS Modernization Updates

Sign up for updates via the Primary Health Care Digest HRSA Exit Disclaimer

UDS Overview and Modernization Videos

UDS Modernization Update HRSA Exit Disclaimer
UDS Overview Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer
UDS Modernization Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer
UDS Enhancements Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Fact Sheets

UDS Test Cooperative Fact Sheet (PDF - 192 KB)
UDS Modernization Initiative Fact Sheet (PDF - 232 KB)
UDS Modernization – Reporting Enhancements Fact Sheet (PDF - 219 KB)

Technical Assistance Webinars

Optimizing Health Center Data: The Journey To Modernization Webinar
December 17, 2018
Presentation (PDF – 1.2 MB) | On-Demand Webinar Recording HRSA Exit Disclaimer

2018 Uniform Data System (UDS) Modernization Functionality Training Technical Assistance Webinar
October 31, 2018 (Repeated on November 9, 2018)
Presentation (PDF - 560 KB) | On-Demand Webinar Recording HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer

2019 Uniform Data System Preliminary Reporting Environment (PRE) Technical Assistance Webinar
November 13, 2019 and December 11, 2019
Presentation (PDF - 825 KB) | On-Demand Webinar Recording HRSA BPHC exit disclaimer
Detailed information on the optional reporting functionalities for calendar year 2019 Uniform Data System (UDS). This webinar covers the PRE for early access to UDS reporting and two offline UDS reporting features: an Excel and an offline HTML feature.

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Date Last Reviewed:  September 2020

UDS Modernization Updates

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