A Shared Opportunity for Improving Electronic Medical Record Data

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Abstract

With the recent rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), studies reporting results based on EMR data have become increasingly common. While analyzing data extracted from our EMR for a retrospective study, we identified various types of erroneous data entries. This report investigates the root causes of the incompleteness, inconsistency, and inaccuracy of the medical records analyzed in our study. While experienced health information management professionals are well aware of the many shortcomings with EMR data, the aims of this case study are to highlight the significance of the negative impact of erroneous EMR data, to provide fundamental principles for managing EMRs, and to provide recommendations to help facilitate the successful use of electronic health data, whether to inform clinical decisions or for clinical research.

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