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EHRs lack adequate data quality standards for reporting measures

Richard Jones Archive
Healthcare reform is inspiring a growing number of doctors and practices in the United States to switch to electronic health records (EHRs) so they can qualify for incentive payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As healthcare providers transfer the data from their patients' paper charts to the digital format, they are generating massive amounts of data, according to Healthcare IT News.

A CMS official said that by 2015, data from Medicare and Medicaid claims will reach 700 and 100 terabytes, respectively.

However, the creation of that data doesn't necessarily mean the industry will discover valuable nuggets of information to revolutionize and improve care. In fact, the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) recently held a conference called "Ensuring the Quality of Quality," which addressed gaps in data quality standards that make it difficult to measure quality reporting for meaningful use and oversight regarding the reform's success, according to EHR Intelligence.

"We need EHR to address the lack of commonality of how data is represented and stored so that it can be counted and reported accurately," said Janice Nicholson, CEO of i2i Systems, as quoted by the source.