Cerner Real World data allows researchers and data scientists to explore clinical data via HealtheDataLab. Recently, Cerner granted many of their client institutions access to de-identified patient’s data for COVID-19 research to help fight the pandemic. The de-identified patient data was dataset contains COVID-19 related encounters, demographics, chronic conditions, medication, and lab results. This large-scale cohort allows for the investigation of the relationships between risk factors, comorbidities, complication and specific outcomes. However, due to variable accuracy and completeness of data, usage of EHR data for research purposes requires an in-depth understanding of potential pitfalls which could lead to inaccurate or unrepresentative findings. We describe a generalizable process for using this data to conduct high quality research and to answer clinical questions related to COVID-19 infection. We also illustrate the dangers which can be posed by relatively simple mistakes resulting from an incomplete understanding of the data.
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