Record Linkage in Healthcare Research

Linkage of records between electronic health databases has become increasingly important to both the providers of healthcare and researchers seeking cures to complex diseases. Electronic health records contain invaluable data to these professionals, but also present numerous challenges that can impede their work. Errors that do occur during the linkage process of these databases can present bias in research and false conclusions. These situations can preclude successful results to the research activity, as well as the delivery of quality care to patients.
Record Linkage Healthcare Research
We have worked with several healthcare research institutions here at Data Ladder on their record linkage efforts. In a recent case study, West Virginia University was tasked with assessing the long-term impacts of certain medical conditions on patients, over extended periods of time. The problem was to evaluate and determine how previous conditions affected the long-term health and care of those patients. The challenge existed in accurate and timely examination and study of the data. Unfortunately, the data existed in separate database systems. Researchers were challenged to find a solution to link the database records so accurate data could be used in their work. The concept of accurately joining these databases seemed overwhelming to the group.
The solution to West Virginia University researchers was to partner with Data Ladder, and secure a method to overcome the challenges presented with linking these databases. Data Ladder, utilizing their premier data quality software DataMatch, found the perfect solution for the university.  They were able to quickly and accurately work through the challenges presented and provide the university proper data to accomplish their research goals.
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Merging Data from Multiple Sources – Challenges and Solutions