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Methods for enhancing the reproducibility of biomedical research findings using electronic health records

Denaxas, S; Direk, K; Gonzalez-Izquierdo, A; Pikoula, M; Cakiroglu, A; Moore, J; Hemingway, H; (2017) Methods for enhancing the reproducibility of biomedical research findings using electronic health records. BioData Mining , 10 , Article 31. 10.1186/s13040-017-0151-7. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The ability of external investigators to reproduce published scientific findings is critical for the evaluation and validation of biomedical research by the wider community. However, a substantial proportion of health research using electronic health records (EHR), data collected and generated during clinical care, is potentially not reproducible mainly due to the fact that the implementation details of most data preprocessing, cleaning, phenotyping and analysis approaches are not systematically made available or shared. With the complexity, volume and variety of electronic health record data sources made available for research steadily increasing, it is critical to ensure that scientific findings from EHR data are reproducible and replicable by researchers. Reporting guidelines, such as RECORD and STROBE, have set a solid foundation by recommending a series of items for researchers to include in their research outputs. Researchers however often lack the technical tools and methodological approaches to actuate such recommendations in an efficient and sustainable manner. RESULTS: In this paper, we review and propose a series of methods and tools utilized in adjunct scientific disciplines that can be used to enhance the reproducibility of research using electronic health records and enable researchers to report analytical approaches in a transparent manner. Specifically, we discuss the adoption of scientific software engineering principles and best-practices such as test-driven development, source code revision control systems, literate programming and the standardization and re-use of common data management and analytical approaches. CONCLUSION: The adoption of such approaches will enable scientists to systematically document and share EHR analytical workflows and increase the reproducibility of biomedical research using such complex data sources.

Type: Article
Title: Methods for enhancing the reproducibility of biomedical research findings using electronic health records
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13040-017-0151-7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13040-017-0151-7
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http:// creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Biomedical research, Electronic health records, Reproducibility, Transparency
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > Clinical Epidemiology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1574477
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