Right now, either hospital medical records departments or medical group practice administrators typically end up collecting quality data, a costly and time-consuming exercise which only gets more taxing from year to year as health plans, state and federal regulators demand more. According to a new study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the right information technology could ease the strain, but only if all of the stakeholders agree on common data standards. In the mean time, as standards evolve, the industry can take several steps to make quality data reporting simpler, the AHRQ said. For one thing, it will help if EMR vendors to have a clear idea of what types of quality data providers need, and organize their products accordingly, the report noted. AHRQ would also like to see key industry players develop a standard set of data points which can be gathered at the point of care rather than extracted from records.