Computer-facilitated review of electronic medical records reliably identifies emergency department interventions in older adults

Kevin J. Biese, Cory R. Forbach, Richard P. Medlin, Timothy F. Platts-Mills, Matthew J. Scholer, Brenda McCall, Frances S. Shofer, Michael Lamantia, Cherri Hobgood, J. S. Kizer, Jan Busby-Whitehead, Charles B. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives An estimated 14% to 25% of all scientific studies in peer-reviewed emergency medicine (EM) journals are medical records reviews. The majority of the chart reviews in these studies are performed manually, a process that is both time-consuming and error-prone. Computer-based text search engines have the potential to enhance chart reviews of electronic emergency department (ED) medical records. The authors compared the efficiency and accuracy of a computer-facilitated medical record review of ED clinical records of geriatric patients with a traditional manual review of the same data and describe the process by which this computer-facilitated review was completed. Methods Clinical data from consecutive ED patients age 65 years or older were collected retrospectively by manual and computer-facilitated medical record review. The frequency of three significant ED interventions in older adults was determined using each method. Performance characteristics of each search method, including sensitivity and positive predictive value, were determined, and the overall sensitivities of the two search methods were compared using McNemar's test. Results For 665 patient visits, there were 49 (7.4%) Foley catheters placed, 36 (5.4%) sedative medications administered, and 15 (2.3%) patients who received positive pressure ventilation. The computer-facilitated review identified more of the targeted procedures (99 of 100, 99%), compared to manual review (74 of 100 procedures, 74%; p < 0.0001). Conclusions A practical, non-resource-intensive, computer-facilitated free-text medical record review was completed and was more efficient and accurate than manually reviewing ED records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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