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As the use of electronic health records (EHRs) spreads, interactive query
interfaces will assist researchers and clinicians to quickly find historical
records that include specific temporal patterns. This paper describes such an
interface called LifeLines2, and summarizes how it was applied to a set of
clinical problems. Our experience indicates that LifeLines2 was helpful to: 1) quickly identify unknown data quality issues, 2) speed up the finding of patients exhibiting specific temporal patterns of interest, 3) allow
repeated queries to facilitate trend analysis and comparisons that would not have been conducted otherwise for lack of human resources. Our case studies illustrate the potential impact on patient safety, quality assurance and process improvement.