Study: EHRs Can Help Researchers Study Cardiac Structure, Functions

September 29, 2014 in News

Using electronic health records to locate specific data could help researchers study cardiac structure and functions in diverse populations, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics, Health Data Management reports.

Details of Study

For the study, researchers from Vanderbilt University used an EHR system to examine 6,076 echocardiography reports on 2,834 adults, dating back to 1997. The reports were filtered for semi-structured and unstructured echocardiographic data.


Overall, the researchers found that EHRs can make “major contributions” to the study of cardiac structure and functions by extracting information from previous studies both quickly and efficiently.

For example, the researchers found that missing data were uncommon when using EHRs. Specifically, more than 90% of the data points were found during the data extraction process. In addition, manual review was required for less than 1% of all data points.

Any irregularities in the data often were the result of:

  • Inconsistent use of measurement units; and
  • Transcriptional errors.

Further, the researchers found that EHR systems that filtered for echocardiographic parameters yielded data that were comparable in both content and size to published data from populations of similar ethnicities.

The researchers said that further testing should be conducted on the use of EHRs in the process of extracting data for studies (Goth, Health Data Management, 9/24).

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