Standardized EMR Queries

August 13, 2018
Standardized Clinical Queries Algorithm Project Value of Consistent Clinical Data


NOTE: All queries are tested and validated prior to release. However, changes that take place after the queries are released may affect how accurate they are.  Such changes could include EMR software updates, new medications, and changes to standard clinical definitions. They may result in false positives, that is, patients being flagged who do not have the specified condition. They may also result in false negatives, that is, patients not being flagged who do have the condition. Queries are also limited by the quality of your EMR data. Please exercise judgement when using them, as they are meant to support and complement a chart review, not to replace it. 

Standard Clinical Queries

Standardized queries are used to consistently identify patients in your EMR. QIDS Specialists have developed the following queries and are sharing them with teams that do not have patient lists for specified conditions. These queries are presented for your consideration and will be subsequently reviewed by the EMR Data Management committee.
These queries were developed by the Algorithm Project and extend the work of the ALIVE project. The queries are based on the formally tested case definitions developed and published by CPCSSN and EMRALD to extend that knowledge to all EMR users.

Algorithm Project

The Algorithm Project team is a small group of QIDS Specialists whose goal is to develop, test, and deploy standard EMR queries. With the aim to enhance the ability of all teams to extract and analyze EMR data in order to facilitate data clean-up initiatives and to support conversations about improvement.
Most recently, the team has been working on standardized queries for opioid use for several EMRs. Queries to identify patients with a current prescription for opioids or concurrent prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines are now available for Telus PS Suite, OSCAR, and Accuro by QHR. A query to identify patients with one or more prescriptions for opioids that have a high total morphine equivalent (high MEQ) is currently available for OSCAR and is in development for Telus PS Suite and Accuro by QHR.


The list below links the chronic conditions listed above, for which EMR queries have already been developed, as well as for several other chronic conditions for which standardized case definitions are available. Links in the table will direct you to the queries (where available) and the sources of the case definitions. 

What is the value of consistent clinical data?

By having consistent clinical data in your EMR, you can empower your team to:

  • Run consistent searches for multiple disease conditions across multiple EMRs.
  • Easily and consistently identify correct patients not previously identified as having these conditions.
  • Offer early treatment, hopefully mitigating disease progression.
  • Improve patient outcomes.
  • Reduce costs to the healthcare system.