Objective: Multi-organizational research requires a multi-organizational data quality assessment (DQA) process that combines and compares data across participating organizations. We demonstrate how such a DQA approach complements traditional checks of internal reliability and validity by allowing for assessments of data consistency and the evaluation of data patterns in the absence of an external "gold standard." Methods: We describe the DQA process employed by the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) for Kaiser Permanente's (KP) Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research (CESR). We emphasize the CESR DQA reporting system that compares data summaries from the eight KP organizations in a consistent, standardized manner. Results: We provide examples of multi-organization comparisons from DQA to confirm expectations about different aspects of data quality. These include: 1) comparison of direct data extraction from the electronic health records (EHR) and 2) comparison of non-EHR data from disparate sources. Discussion: The CESR DCC has developed codes and procedures for efficiently implementing and reporting DQA. The CESR DCC approach is to 1) distribute DQA tools to empower data managers at each organization to assess their data quality at any time, 2) summarize and disseminate findings to address data shortfalls or document idiosyncrasies, and 3) engage data managers and end-users in an exchange of knowledge about the quality and its fitness for use. Conclusion: The KP CESR DQA model is applicable to networks hoping to improve data quality. The multi-organizational reporting system promotes transparency of DQA, adds to network knowledge about data quality, and informs research.
Sengupta, S., Bachman, D., Laws, R., Saylor, G., Staab, J., Vaughn, D., … Bauck, A. (2019). Data Quality Assessment and Multi-Organizational Reporting: Tools to Enhance Network Knowledge. EGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes), 7(1). https://doi.org/10.5334/egems.280