This column presents an innovative approach for maintaining momentum and enthusiasm during the arduous process of monitoring data quality. Data quality refers to “the totality of features and characteristics of a data set, that bear on its ability to satisfy the needs that result from the intended use of the data,” a definition developed on the basis of the International Organization for Standardization’s definition of quality. (p602) In the era of electronic health record documentation, nurses increasingly are able to use the data captured and recorded in the course of usual patient care delivery for the secondary purpose of clinical inquiry, but this process works only if data have been collected appropriately. For example, if the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections is rising, an excellent clinical inquiry project would be to review the documentation for all patients who had a urinary...

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