Electronic health record data use in the assessment of quality indicators for glucocorticoid osteoporosis screening in systemic lupus erythematosus

Danette Ko, Noah Forrest, Quan Mai, Anna Pawlowski, Kate Balsley, Anh Chung, Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman*, Theresa L. Walunas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether electronic health record (EHR) data components could be identified and used to assess bone health quality indicators in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus as a foundation for population health management. Methods: We identified patients in our EHR system who had diagnosis codes for lupus from 2012 to 2017 and characterized them based on the frequency and dosage of prescribed glucocorticoid medications. The medical records of patients who received repeated high-dose glucocorticoid orders were further reviewed for osteoporosis, osteoporotic fractures, receipt of appropriate preventive screening, and orders for protective medications based on established quality indicators. Descriptive statistics were calculated to summarize results. Results: We identified 617 patients with a lupus diagnosis; 414 received glucocorticoid prescriptions, 189 received chronic, high-dose; and 83 received chronic, low-dose prescription orders. Of those with chronic high-dose glucocorticoid prescriptions, 14% had an osteoporosis diagnosis, 3% had an osteoporotic fracture, 51% received a prescription for calcium/vitamin D, 43% had bone mineral density screening orders, 20% received a spine radiograph order, 29% had a documented T-score, 12% received a prescription for osteoporosis medication, and 6% had a documented osteoporosis screening. We were able to identify data elements in the EHR for all nine components of the osteoporosis management quality indicator. Conclusions: It is possible to identify data in the EHR for all attributes of the quality indicator for osteoporosis in lupus patients who receive chronic high-dose glucocorticoids. However, missing data and need to extract data from text-based notes may make development of population management tools challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1516-1522
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • electronic health records
  • osteoporosis
  • quality indicators
  • systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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