A vision for the systematic monitoring and improvement of the quality of electronic health data

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2013;192:884-8.


In parallel with the implementation of information and communications systems, health care organizations are beginning to amass large-scale repositories of clinical and administrative data. Many nations seek to leverage so-called Big Data repositories to support improvements in health outcomes, drug safety, health surveillance, and care delivery processes. An unsupported assumption is that electronic health care data are of sufficient quality to enable the varied use cases envisioned by health ministries. The reality is that many electronic health data sources are of suboptimal quality and unfit for particular uses. To more systematically define, characterize and improve electronic health data quality, we propose a novel framework for health data stewardship. The framework is adapted from prior data quality research outside of health, but it has been reshaped to apply a systems approach to data quality with an emphasis on health outcomes. The proposed framework is a beginning, not an end. We invite the biomedical informatics community to use and adapt the framework to improve health data quality and outcomes for populations in nations around the world.

MeSH terms

  • Information Storage and Retrieval / standards*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • United States