The key to good health is good data, at least for those with chronic conditions. As the medical community continues to embrace personal health devices and monitors for patients, more information about day-to-day living can be assessed. However, not all types of monitoring hardware are giving doctors the data they need to make targeted decisions about patient wellness. Incorrect or missing information can be a huge hazard. Electronic health record implementation needs to address issues that can arise from faulty or missing information in order to give patients the best experience possible. Further, because information is typically shared with referral doctors within the context of EHR use, it is harder to "scrub" a patient's record clean of errant information that is incorrectly entered.

What impact does bad data have?
At a fundamental level, it prevents the EHR from doing its job.

"In the short-run, bad data in the system limits the effectiveness of clinical communications and the effectiveness of decision support," said Willam Arella, executive director of the Emergency Care Resarch Institute's Patient Service Organization's operation and analytics, according to Healthcare IT News.

Further, poorly recorded information prevents doctors  from using the EHR systems as needed. By reducing confidence in the system as a whole, it prevents patients from relying on the readings, and forces medical personnel to double check their readouts, effectively erasing any gains they might have achieved in terms of efficiency. Medical billing and coding can also be disrupted if an error in data capture or entry prevents a provider from understanding whether or not they've given a patient a specific service. To this end, it's not just more powerful data devices that need to be built, but also better understanding of how to use these tools in the minds of doctors and nurses. Training care providers to talk to patients about what their monitors can do is the best way to enable individuals to receive better, constant care.

Is data collection even necessary?
In a word, yes. The problem with self-reported compliance in health care is that it often doesn't work. Patients end up over-reporting how much they worked with their doctor on a large scale, according to Forbes. Medical staff and doctors that aren't seeing results from treatments have, under previous models, simply been unable to determine whether or not their patients were actually following treatment instructions. Now, at least, they can figure out whether or not they need to change their diagnostic plans, or if they just aren't able to deliver the kind of health care they need. Understanding how to collect this data, especially for chronic diseases, is very important for the long-term health of patients with chronic ailments like diabetes. 

Data collection will likely continue to be a rising field of interest for health companies in the near future. Due to the rise of wearable items like the Apple iWatch, the Pebble, and the FitBit tracker, more consumers will become accustomed to keeping tabs on their vital signs. The golden age of treating chronic conditions may be upon us soon. Giving diabetic patients the ability to track their blood sugar levels consistently throughout the day offers the ability to monitor glucose health without relying on snapshots. Those that suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonarty Diseease may also find that they are better able to monitor vital signs with these new devices.

Ultimately, how health care providers choose to offer monitoring will be determined at least partially by the flexibility of medical billing software. Choosing platforms based in the future of health care will give them the agility they equire to meet patients' needs.