Benefits and limitations

Benefits Limitations
Include information on diagnoses, treatments
(medications and procedures), and outcomes
Documentation and coding for clinical or
reimbursement purposes, not research
Large sample size (e.g., rare conditions, vulnerable
populations, sick)
May not include entire population of interest (i.e.,
uninsured, all ages)
Uniformity of coding May lack clinical detail (lab results, reason for test,
lifestyle factors, vital statistics)
Routine, regular collection May not show complete episode of care
Ease of access Lag time of data
Available at the local, state, regional and national level Need to be aware of selection bias