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TRANSFoRm Data quality tool


Data quality, primary care databases.

Tool description

As computerisation of primary care facilities is rapidly increasing, a wealth of information is created in routinely recorded electronic health records (EHR) that can be used and is already used for research purposes. However, we need to be able to assess whether the data these primary care databases contain is ‘fit for purpose’.

In the TRANSFoRm project an axiomatic approach was developed that started with defining purpose and population, followed by the definition of a set of metrics for data quality described in terms of completeness, accuracy, correctness and consistency.

Based on this approach a web-based prototype of a data quality tool [1] was developed and evaluated in two TRANSFoRm clinical use cases (GORD and Diabetes), allowing researchers to select primary care sites with data that is ´fit for purpose´. For example, a researcher might only be interested in practices with more or less complete recordings of HbA1c, blood glucose and smoking status (Figure 1).

Figure 1
figure 1

User interface of the Quality Tool indicating results for three data types. The moving of the slide bars results in the selection of primary care sites where all criteria are met, allowing a researcher to weigh data quality against a desired number of practices. The tool is an example of how different metrics can be used to select data that is fit for purpose.

Status of development



Members of the TRANSFoRm project; the tool will be built into the TRANSFoRm query workbench.



  1. Khan NA, McGilchrist M, Padmanabhan S, van Staa T, Verheij RA: Data Quality Tool. Deliverable 5.1 of the TRANSFoRm project. 2013, Available from:

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Correspondence to Robert A. Verheij.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Verheij, R.A. TRANSFoRm Data quality tool. J Clin Bioinform 5 (Suppl 1), S15 (2015).

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