Helpful Hints: Expedited Data Quality Assessment


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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2019

Helpful Hints: Expedited Data Quality Assessment Abstract:

An expedited data quality assessment (EDQA) is a novel method of organizing patient records and cleaning data found in patient files and health facility registers. Its advantages are that it can be done in five to six weeks rather than several months, and can serve as an intervention by allowing for correction of the data when source documents are found to be incomplete or inconsistent.

This new method has been used when stakeholders (researchers, implementing partners, etc.) need to clean patient files and to use these files to determine what patients may have been lost to follow-up for completing HIV treatment and care.

EDQA is similar to standard data quality assessments (DQAs) but is more rapid and intense. An EDQA is conducted in two stages: a pilot or “mini” DQA in selected health facilities to diagnose data quality issues, followed by a data-cleaning intervention to address those issues. An EDQA also assesses the quality of select indicators and diagnoses data reporting challenges. During an EDQA, facility registers are compared to source documents, such as patient files, electronic medical records, and laboratory records.

Results from an EDQA can be used to inform strategies for decreasing patient loss to follow-up (LTFU), for improving site-level data quality, and for strengthening data management practices, such as supportive supervision and routine data quality. To decrease LTFU, an EDQA can identify patients who should be contacted through community outreach to encourage them to return for treatment. So far, EDQA has been applied in several countries to an HIV indicator (TX_CURR) that shows the number of adults and children currently receiving antiretroviral therapy. It could be adapted and applied to other HIV indicators, such as continuity of care, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, or similar indicators requiring data from multiple sources.

To help implementers know what to expect in an EDQA and to offer help on selecting sites for investigation, this brief shares recommendations.

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