Electronic medical records (EMRs) with thorough capture of information on patient contacts may be useful for monitoring adherence to quality indicators (QIs) in gout. For a study, researchers sought to convert ten previously identified gout QIs into relevant EMR data and to examine and discuss the possibility of utilizing EMRs to assess gout QIs. The researchers identified patients with gout seen between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013, using EMRs from three community rheumatology practices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Each gout QI was translated into possible EMR factors that would allow identification of patients to whom the QI applied and if the QI could be tested. They retrieved de-identified EMR data on gout diagnosis, medicines, laboratory testing, radiographic tests, and clinical comments and computed the percentage of data availability for each QI. 

They studied 125  patients with gout, with an average age of (64+17) years and a male-to-female ratio of 78%. Overall, enough EMR data was available to translate 7 QIs and analyze 6 QIs, including therapy-related gout QIs (data availability ranged from 69% to 83%) and one counseling-related QI (8% data availability). The single QI translated into EMR data and evaluated based on diagnostic codes and prescription drugs rather than laboratory tests had the greatest percent data availability. 

Gout QIs may be assessed using electronic medical records, which is a promising method. Seven gout QIs could be translated into relevant EMR variables, and there was enough EMR data to examine six of the QIs. The findings offered support to the applicability of EMRs for ut QI evaluation, with implications for helping to improve disease treatment.