Data Quality

The NCDR Data Quality Program (DQP) is comprised of a series of checks and balances to validate and ensure the quality of the collected data.  These activities occur at different stages of the data collection process beginning with the registry database development. These activities are embedded into registry development and data collection. 

Pre–Data Collection

Data Collection Tool and Software Certification

All NCDR web-based data collection tools are created with data entry checks such as range checks, parent-child checks or date checks to ensure data consistency.  With the option to upload from existing hospital systems, the NCDR also offers its participants a list of certified vendors that go through a rigorous process to assess compatibility, verify correct data transfer and ensure all NCDR export requirements are met.

Facility Training

The NCDR has established a strong hospital outreach and training system to support its suite of registries. This system includes a comprehensive orientation and continuing education program to address the educational needs of NCDR registry participants. Visit our Training and Education page to learn more.

Data Submission

Data Quality Reports

All data submissions are evaluated for errors (data assessment) and completeness (data completeness assessment).  This information is summarized in an automated report that is sent to the participants after each data submission.

Post–Data Submission

National Audit Program

The NCDR audit program, which includes hospital chart reviews and blind data abstractions, assesses the accuracy of the data and enables participants to identify areas for improved data entry. The NCDR also provides a mechanism for adjudication following an audit.

Regional Audit Program

The NCDR is partnering with several entities that conduct regional audits of selected NCDR Registries on behalf of states or hospitals consortia.

Self-Audit Program

To support participants’ effort to submit accurate data, the NCDR has developed a self-audit tool that enables participants to carefully review their process for data collection.


"The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) Data Quality Brief: The NCDR® Data Quality Program in 2012"  Messenger JC, Ho KL, Young CH, et al. The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) Data Quality Brief: The NCDR Data Quality Program in 2012. J Am Coll Cardiol.  Published online September 19, 2012. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2012.07.020.

This paper, published in the September 20, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), highlights the critical need for data accuracy in light of increasing interest on the part of payers, consumer coalitions, and federal and state agencies in using registry data for efforts like pay-for-performance, direct-to-consumer reporting and post-market surveillance. Recognizing that these efforts often have implicit or explicit consequences for patients, providers and manufacturers, the paper focuses on the need for enhanced data validation as the use of registry data expands, and specifically looks at the Data Quality Program developed by the NCDR as a model for success.