Data quality in primary care, Scotland

Christopher J. Weatherburn (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims: This project explores primary care data quality (DQ) across Scotland.

Methods and results: A survey was sent to primary care staff in winter 2019. National data regarding Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) performance indicators and the GP software system used was obtained, analysed with T-tests and Chi-squared tests. Overall QOF performance with non-financial incentives from 918 practices was 77%. There was no significant difference with overall QOF performance against GP system (p = 0.46) or if the practice had a coder (p = 0.06). From the survey, search systems that make it hard to search for particular codes was the most important barrier to DQ; 61% of respondents (n = 491) felt there was particular information GPs should code, 16% of respondents stated that hospital discharge letters generally include corresponding codes and 9% for outpatient correspondence; 43% stated their practice had undertaken steps to improve DQ, training was the most common initiative, followed by workflow optimisation, dedicated coder(s), audit, guidelines and using code lists; 80% (n = 475) of respondents had received training in using their GP system, an average of eight years ago.

Conclusion: Obtaining improved GP systems, training, agreeing what GPs should code and improving transfer of data should be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date21 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Data accuracy
  • Health Services Administration
  • electronic health records
  • primary health care
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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