Data quality (information governance)

Published on: 14th November 2019 | Updated on: 7th April 2022

Data quality is the ability to supply accurate, timely and complete data, which can be translated into information, whenever and wherever this is required.

High quality data is important to patients and those working within health and care because it can lead to improvements in patient care and patient safety. Quality data plays a role in improving services and decision making, as well as being able to identify trends and patterns, draw comparisons, predict future events and outcomes, and evaluate services.

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit includes a question related to the data quality.

Data quality indicators

Some examples of data quality indicators that relate to the recording of data within the pharmacy:

Example data quality indicators which could be used within pharmacies Explanation and questions for consideration during IG data quality training
Validity All data items held within systems should be valid. Are submitted data items valid according to pharmacy-related national definitions? Is field population of mandatory data items as expected?
Completeness All mandatory data items within a data set should be completed.
Efficiency Is it efficient to be able to record data with a good data quality standard.
Consistency Data collection/recording should be consistent. Duplicate data items across different systems ought to be consistent to avoid ambiguity between different data sources. How does our current data look compared to the historic picture? Are there unexplained peaks or troughs that need could be investigated?
Coverage Data ought to reflect all the work done for patients by the pharmacy team. Pharmacy system suppliers could make it easier to record the work that is done.
Accuracy All recorded data should be correct the first time it is input but updated as appropriate thereafter and should accurately reflect what happened to a patient. Does the data in your system fit what you expect to see? Do data items match with historic submissions?
Timeliness Recording of data in a timely fashion is beneficial to the treatment of the patient. Was data submitted in line with deadlines?

Read more about data quality within Data Quality Policy template (see

Further info

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