ElectronicHealthcare 12(2) November 2013
Primary Care

Assessing the Feasibility of Extracting Clinical Information to Create Quality Indicators from Primary Healthcare Practice EMRs

Fred Burge, Beverley Lawson, Kristine Van Aarsen and Wayne Putnam


[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly 16.3]

In 2011, a panel of primary healthcare (PHC) providers in Nova Scotia rated 19 of 35 selected Canadian Institute for Health Information (2006) clinical quality indicators (QIs) as "acceptable." In this study, the authors explored the feasibility of extracting electronic medical record (EMR) data required to create these PHC QI measures.

Using the EMR query/reporting functions provided in the physician-user interface, implementation feasibility (the identification of eligible patient subgroup, the denominator) and measurement feasibility (the identification of required care data elements, the numerator) were evaluated within six family physician practices. Facilitating and hindering factors were recorded.

Implementation feasibility was limited; partial denominators were identified. Measurement feasibility proved " clearly feasible" for most QIs. Facilitating factors included the availability and use of problem lists, structured fields and standardized terms.

The adoption of EMR data standards, attention to data input and easy-to-use report-generating functions will move us forward to improve quality in PHC.




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