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eHAction Interoperability Guide

Data Quality

The quality of hospital EHR data is vital to the delivery of safe and effective patient care and further enables the reuse of your data across your Learning Health System strengthens your strategic and medical decision-making insights and improves your opportunities to scale up your participation in clinical research.

As we increasingly capture, rely upon and communicate electronic health record information we have become heavily dependent on the quality of the data for decision-making and analyses. Within your organisation, clinicians have to know if they can trust information they read on a screen that has been captured by other colleagues, and it is even more important to be confident about information that has been imported from a different healthcare organisation in an ever increasing cross-organisational medical landscape.

This is not just a matter of human reading, but for the accurate performance of decision support and alerting systems. If any one of a patient’s drugs has been wrongly coded, or if one of them is in free text and not coded at all, prescribing decision support will be inaccurate and place the patient at risk. An alert for a drug contraindication will similarly fail if one of the conditions is not correctly coded.

If your hospital has systematically poor data quality in certain areas, perhaps due to an ill-designed electronic health record screen or template, or if there is a weak organisational culture of using the EHR, then population-based analytics will also be misleading. That makes it very difficult to track clinical outcomes, to ensure patient safety and to examine care pathways to optimise their efficiency. There is also a reputational risk to your hospital if your data are widely known outside the organisation to be of a poor quality and therefore not reliable for shared care.

Furthermore, you want to give your patients access to the newest medical advancements and have your clinicians stay at the top of their game by taking part in clinical trials. Reliable health data analyses will allow pharmaceutical companies to easily select your hospital if your patient population fits their needs.

Healthcare will be increasingly reliant upon accurate, computable health data, as care coordination and planning become more and more complex and reminders, alerts, decision support and artificial intelligence become more critical to supporting healthcare professionals and patients. Investing in your data is investing in high quality and cost effective services. Not only for your patients but for clinicians, health care managers, public health agencies, healthcare funders, pharma, regulators and health technology assessment agencies alike.  Data Quality is a win-win for all stakeholders.

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