Examining the use, contents, and quality of free-text tobacco use documentation in the Electronic Health Record

Elizabeth S. Chen, Elizabeth W. Carter, Indra N eil Sarkar, Tamara J. Winden, Genevieve B. Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent initiatives have emphasized the potential role of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for improving tobacco use assessment and cessation. In support of these efforts, the goal of the present study was to examine tobacco use documentation in the EHR with an emphasis on free-text. Three coding schemes were developed and applied to analyze 525 tobacco use entries, including structured fields and a free-text comment field, from the social history module of an EHR system to characterize: (1) potential reasons for using free-text, (2) contents within the free-text, and (3) data quality issues. Free-text was most commonly used due to limitations for describing tobacco use amount (23.2%), frequency (26.9%), and start or quit dates (28.2%) as well as secondhand smoke exposure (17.9%) using a variety of words and phrases. The collective results provide insights for informing system enhancements, user training, natural language processing, and standards for tobacco use documentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
Volume2014
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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