Uniform Data System Modernization Initiative

In 2016, the Uniform Data System (UDS) Modernization Initiative was launched to reduce reporting burden, improve data quality, and help to more fully measure the impact of Health Center Program services and outcomes. The Initiative includes three major components:

  • UDS Reporting Modernization: Ongoing efforts to simplify the UDS reporting process, reduce reporting burden, and create reporting enhancements for Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes.
  • UDS Content Modernization: Health care delivery models and clinical guidance routinely change and evolve. The UDS tables and content are reviewed continuously to keep pace and improve data quality.
  • UDS Stakeholder Engagement: Stakeholder feedback has always been important to UDS reporting. There are more opportunities to give feedback on UDS reporting enhancements and provide suggestions for changes to UDS tables and measures.

UDS Reporting Modernization

HRSA has created enhancements to make UDS reporting easier and less burdensome for Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes. 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.

UDS Preliminary Reporting Environment

The UDS Preliminary Reporting Environment (PRE), is available November to December and allows Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes to enter available or UDS data. Entering data in the PRE could help identify data errors and provide additional preparation time to compile UDS data.

Offline Data Entry

Health centers have the option to enter their data offline, outside of the Electronic Handbooks (EHBs), using an offline Excel file or offline Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) file. These offline files allow work to be divided among multiple staff. Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes data can be entered simultaneously across different sections of the UDS report. Team based UDS data entry and reporting may reduce bottlenecks. In fact, pilot testing of these features revealed significant reductions in the number of hours needed to complete the UDS report.

Offline Excel File

Many Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes use Excel or a similar spreadsheet software to review data from their electronic health records (EHR). The offline Excel file allows health centers to download one or more UDS tables in an Excel format to a local computer. This makes data entry easier by taking information from the EHR spreadsheet and placing it into the Excel file. The UDS tables in the Excel file can also be separated out which supports team-based data entry. Once UDS data is reported into the offline Excel file, health centers can upload the information into the EHBs which will check the data and generate a data error report file. Health centers can use the data error report file to make corrections offline in Excel, or online in the EHBs.

Offline HTML File

The Offline HTML file allows health centers to download the UDS tables in a format that is similar to the EHBs. The HTML file provides real time data validations as information is entered. Similar to the offline Excel file, multiple staff can enter data into different tables at the same time. In addition, health centers can import other UDS tables in the Excel formats into the Offline HTML file, as each staff member completes their portion. The health center staff can also export specific portions to share with colleagues for review and upload all the data into the EHBs.

More information about the UDS reporting enhancements is available in the videos as the bottom of this page.

UDS Content Modernization

The changes to UDS tables and content will help improve the quality of the data reported to HRSA and our ability to effectively measure the impact of the Health Center Program. Improving the use of electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) and EHR systems can reduce reporting burden while increasing insights into a health center’s services and patient health outcomes.

Proposed changes to UDS content are communicated to Health Center Program awardees and look-alikes, and other stakeholders through Program Assistance Letters (PAL) and Federal Register Notices. Visit this page for the more information on recent proposed changes.

UDS Stakeholder Engagement 

Stakeholder engagement is instrumental to the success of the UDS Modernization Initiative. HRSA has created more opportunities for health centers and other UDS stakeholders to share feedback on UDS Modernization activities. For more information on current UDS Modernization activities please watch the videos at the bottom of the page.

UDS governance provides a transparent decision-making process that includes stakeholder engagement to modify the UDS, such as measure selection, information technology enhancements, and reporting improvements. It enables health center grantees and other stakeholders to share feedback and innovative ideas, in addition to the traditional Federal Register Notice process.

UDS Modernization Feedback

Health centers and other UDS stakeholders are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback, and share ideas for UDS improvements. Please follow these steps.

Step 1: Begin by visiting the Health Center Program Support page.

Step 2: Fill out the required fields, including Requestor Type. 

Step 3: Select Uniform Data System (UDS) Modernization Initiative from the issue type category.

Step 4: Include a summary of the question or feedback in the Description field. Please include the following background information to enable a comprehensive review and response:

  • Provide a rationale for question and/or feedback.
  • Describe how the feedback impacts the work (e.g., decreased reporting time, decreased validation).
  • Describe how the feedback enhances data quality usage.
  • Describe how the feedback could be successfully implemented.

Step 5: Submit your question(s), feedback, or ideas.

Modernization Resources 

UDS Overview Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer

2018 UDS Modernization Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer

2018 UDS Enhancements Video HRSA Exit Disclaimer

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
Detailed information on the new optional reporting functionalities for Calendar Year 2018 UDS. This session covered the Preliminary Reporting Environment (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:  January 2019