Data collected in an electronic health record (EHR) system contained significant inaccuracies about the smoking history of thousands of patients, potentially excluding many from lung cancer screening, an AHRQ-funded study found. The study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that more than 80 percent of nearly 17,000 health records of current and former smokers age 50 to 80 at University of Utah Health had issues including missing, outdated or inaccurate data. More than 42 percent of records contained inaccuracies on packs-per-day or years-smoked, a criterion set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to recommend lung cancer screening. Researchers found that addressing these errors and others would identify nearly 50 percent more patients who were eligible for cancer screening. In addition to the most recent smoking data, they suggest that historical smoking data be made available to clinical decision support systems.
- Inaccuracies in electronic health records smoking data and a potential approach to address resulting underestimation in determining lung cancer screening eligibility. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 13 April 2022.