Data for free--can an electronic medical record provide outcome data for incontinence/prolapse repair procedures?

J Urol. 2013 Jan;189(1):194-9. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.08.186. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


Purpose: We determined whether a custom computer program can improve the extraction and accuracy of key outcome measures from progress notes in an electronic medical record compared to a traditional data recording system for incontinence and prolapse repair procedures.

Materials and methods: Following institutional review board approval, progress notes were exported from the Epic electronic medical record system for outcome measure extraction by a custom computer program. The extracted data (D1) were compared against a manually maintained outcome measures database (D2). This work took place in 2 phases. During the first phase, volatile data such as questionnaires and standardized physical examination findings using the POP-Q (pelvic organ prolapse quantification) system were extracted from existing progress notes. The second phase used a progress note template incorporating key outcome measures to evaluate improvement in data accuracy and extraction rates.

Results: Phase 1 compared 6,625 individual outcome measures from 316 patients in D2 to 3,534 outcome measures extracted from progress notes in D1, resulting in an extraction rate of 53.3%. A subset of 3,763 outcome measures from D1 was created by excluding data that did not exist in the extraction, yielding an accuracy rate of 93.9%. With the use of the template in phase 2, the extraction rate improved to 91.9% (273 of 297) and the accuracy rate improved to 100% (273 of 273).

Conclusions: In the field of incontinence and prolapse, the disciplined use of an electronic medical record template containing a preestablished set of key outcome measures can provide the ideal interface between required documentation and clinical research.

MeSH terms

  • Data Mining*
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / surgery*
  • Records
  • Urinary Incontinence / surgery*