Measurement and Quality Improvement

Standardized EMR Queries

Standard Clinical Queries Algorithm Project


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 extend the work of the ALIVE project and 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

UPDATE – Upcoming projects to develop Queries: The Algorithm team has selected the next two chronic conditions for which they will develop standard EMR queries. The next conditions in order of development are Hypertension and Opioid use. The team took a more rigorous method for selecting the order, taking into account prevalence of the condition in Ontario, both indirect and direct costs of the condition to our healthcare system, the feasibility of extracting data related to the condition from EMRs listed, and availability of existing patient registries to test queries against.

The Algorithm Project: The Algorithm Project is a small group of QIDS Specialists whose goal is to develop, test and eventually 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.

The following are the chronic conditions and the case definition source and the EMRs for which standard EMR queries will be developed:

Condition Source EMRs
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) CPCSSN

Accuro by QHR



Diabetes Mellitus
Parkinson’s Disease
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) CIHI
Opioid use Developed in partnership with AFHTO-member teams, CPCSSN, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

GOALS of having consistent clinical data

  • Having consistent searches for multiple disease conditions across multiple EMRs
  • Having the ability to easily and consistently identify correct patients not previously identified
  • Offering early treatment, hopefully mitigating disease progression
  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Reducing costs to the healthcare system