UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Utility of Electronic Medical Records in Community Rheumatology Practice for Assessing Quality of Care Indicators for Gout : A Feasibility Study Estrada, Augusto; Tsao, Nicole W.; Howren, Alyssa; Esdaile, John; Shojania, Kam; De Vera, Mary


Objectives: With comprehensive capture of information on patient encounters, electronic medical records (EMRs) may have utility for assessing adherence to quality indicators (QI) in gout. Our objectives were to translate 10 previously established gout QIs into relevant EMR data and evaluate and describe the feasibility of using EMRs to assess gout QIs. Methods: Using EMRs from three community rheumatology practices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, we identified gout patients seen between January 01, 2012 and December 31, 2013. We translated each gout QI into potential EMR variables that would allow identification of patients the QI pertains to and whether the QI could be assessed. We extracted deidentified EMR data on gout diagnosis, medications, laboratory tests, radiologic tests, and clinical notes and calculated the percent availability of data for each QI. Results: We included 125 patients with gout, with mean age 64 ± 17 years and with males comprising 78%. Overall, there were sufficient EMR data to allow translation of seven QIs and assessment of six QIs including therapy-related gout QIs (69% to 83% data availability) and one counselling-related QI (8% data availability). The highest percent data availability was observed in the single QI translated into EMR data and assessed based on diagnostic codes and prescription medications and not laboratory tests. Conclusions: EMRs are promising tools for assessing QIs for gout. With increased use of EMRs by physicians, our study has implications for informing processes for their enhanced use to improve patient care and outcomes in gout.

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