Electronic health records present new opportunities to use data for quality measurement and improvement activities. For example, such systems can generate problem and medication lists, provide decision-support functions, and include portals for patients to provide input. But little is known about the reliability and validity of data gathered through electronic health records.
What the Study Found
The authors reviewed empirical studies of the quality of electronic health record data, published since January 2004. Among the 35 studies reviewed, 66 percent evaluated data accuracy, 57 percent looked at data completeness, and 23 percent looked at data comparability.
The diversity among the studies made it hard to draw concrete conclusions. Further research is needed to develop an evidence base to support the use of electronic health record data in quality measurement, focusing particularly on data attributes vital to quality measurement such as granularity, timeliness, and comparability.