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Can we trust electronic health records? The smoking test for commission errors
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  • Published on:
    Quicker to run the test than to correct the errors found

    The Smoking Test was run on our practice, 3 years after the initial assessment was conducted. And some learning can be shared:

    -The test was quick to run, even though original reports were not saved. In consequence, three new reports were created, regarding the type of smoking status considered, and one merging records with the 3 entries, followed by collecting in a spreadsheet the three codes with their last entry date. The software allows to collect specific entries without needing to open the records and to export that data. Using simple formulas in excel (Deducting two dates, to see if the difference of days was negative or positive) it was matter of minutes to find again the number of errors.

    -Trying to correct entries took a lot of time, it was not completed. It was considered not necessarily beneficial, more when about half of the entries assessed were not ours, but from associated organisations. We share data, to improve patient care, but each organisation is responsible for their own quality, for their own entries. One could only request to mark entries in error to them. It means if any organisation, is doing similarly, sharing data entry with others, the reports need to be amended to specify which organisation data is to be entered in the searches. It should fix the location problem encountered.

    -Looking at the data, one had to consider also a change in the report of "Never smoked" to fix the problem of currency. In our sample h...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.