Quality of care assessment using GPs' electronic patient records: do we need data from home visits?

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2004;110:35-41.


The paper tackles the topic of collecting data from home visits using the electronic patient record (EPR) of general practitioners (GPs), in a context with a high proportion of home visits in primary care. Since data from home visits, representing about 40% of GPs' consultations in Belgium, are rather scarcely recorded in the EPR, we wanted to study the impact of not taking into account home visits for quality assessment in primary care. Five quality indicators, which measured the accordance of the delivered care with guidelines on the management of osteoarthritis, were compared between a pooled database (consultations and home visits) and a restricted database (after removal of home visits). Our findings suggest that removing home visits from a database collected from primary care may provide a slight modification of the estimate of the quality of care, whereas conclusions on quality improvement remain relatively stable. Quality of care assessment with the EPR of GPs seems not to be dramatically hampered by the poor recording rate of home visits in the EPR.

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Data Collection
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Family Practice / standards
  • House Calls*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care*