The utility of EMR address histories for assessing neighborhood exposures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose Electronic medical records (EMRs) include residential address histories, which may alleviate exposure misclassification caused by exclusion of patient spatiotemporal location. EMR data are increasingly available but rarely leveraged as a measure of cumulative environmental exposure, in part due to limited understanding of the validity of EMR-derived address histories. Methods We compared EMR address histories to self-reported histories among 100 patients of a safety-net health care system completing a telephone survey. We assessed agreement and compared seven neighborhood-level environmental exposures as assessed using both data sources. Results While 17.1% of respondents did not live at the most recent EMR-derived address during the survey, nearly all (98%) lived there at some point. For respondents with more than one EMR-derived address (N = 64), 87.5% had once lived at the previous EMR address. Of these, 30.4% lived at 1 or more additional residences between the two most recent EMR address. For all measures, neighborhood-level environmental exposures did not differ when using EMR-derived versus self-report addresses. Conclusions More recent EMR-derived addresses are more accurate, and differences compared to self-reported addresses in neighborhood-level exposures are negligible. EMR-derived address histories are incomplete and likely suffer from collection bias; future research should further assess their validity and reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Electronic medical record
  • Geographic information systems
  • Neighborhoods
  • Residential mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'The utility of EMR address histories for assessing neighborhood exposures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this