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Editorials |

Coming to Grips with Large Databases

Christine Laine, MD, Deputy Editor
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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(8_Part_1):645-647. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-127-8_Part_1-199710150-00012
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“Measuring Quality, Outcomes, and Cost of Care Using Large Databases,” the supplement that accompanies this issue, may strike some readers as an odd companion to the journal. Why should typical Annals readers, internists devoted mainly to patient care, concern themselves with large health care databases? Colossal electronic files of claims and codes are the habiliments of health services researchers and health care administrators, not clinicians. Clinical internists learn from small sets of meticulously collected primary research and clinical data, not from secondary data collected for billing and other administrative functions. This, however, like much else in health care these days, is changing, like it or not.

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