Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background The increasing use of routinely collected data in electronic health record (EHR) systems for business analytics, quality improvement and research requires an extraction process fit for purpose. Little is known about the quality of EHR data extracts. We examined the accuracy of three data extraction tools (DETs) with two EHR systems in Australia. Methods The hardware, software environment and extraction instructions were kept the same for the extraction of relevant demographic and clinical data for all active patients with diabetes. The counts of identified patients and their demographic and clinical information were compared by EHR and DET. Results The DETs identified different numbers of diabetics and measures of quality of care under the same conditions. Discussion Current DETs are not reliable and potentially unsafe. Proprietary EHRs and DETs must support transparency and independent testing with standardised queries. Quality control within an appropriate policy and legislative environment is essential.


Journal article


Australian Family Physician

Publication Date





820 - 823