Publication Date



The Journal for Electronic Health Data and Methods


The well-known hazards of repurposing data make Data Quality (DQ) assessment a vital step towards ensuring valid results regardless of analytical methods. However, there is no systematic process to implement DQ assessments for secondary uses of clinical data. This paper presents DataGauge, a systematic process for designing and implementing DQ assessments to evaluate repurposed data for a specific secondary use. DataGauge is composed of five steps: (1) Define information needs, (2) Develop a formal Data Needs Model (DNM), (3) Use the DNM and DQ theory to develop goal-specific DQ assessment requirements, (4) Extract DNM-specified data, and (5) Evaluate according to DQ requirements. DataGauge's main contribution is integrating general DQ theory and DQ assessment methods into a systematic process. This process supports the integration and practical implementation of existing Electronic Health Record-specific DQ assessment guidelines. DataGauge also provides an initial theory-based guidance framework that ties the DNM to DQ testing methods for each DQ dimension to aid the design of DQ assessments. This framework can be augmented with existing DQ guidelines to enable systematic assessment. DataGauge sets the stage for future systematic DQ assessment research by defining an assessment process, capable of adapting to a broad range of clinical datasets and secondary uses. Defining DataGauge sets the stage for new research directions such as DQ theory integration, DQ requirements portability research, DQ assessment tool development and DQ assessment tool usability.


Clinical data quality, secondary use of clinical data, data quality assessment, model-driven development, clinical and translational science



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