Data discrepancies threaten research quality

A new study has found a "clinically important" level of discrepancy--including 11 patients listed as both dead and alive--in a major national database, raising questions about its data quality as a source for research. Ten years worth of data in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) revealed 4 percent of emergency department visits included conflicting information about disposition. In another 11 cases, patients were listed as admitted to a critical care unit, but also transferred to another hospital.

"This study raises serious questions about the data quality of NHAMCS that may change the interpretation of published articles and future inquiries that use this database," wrote lead author Steven Green of Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children's Hospital in California. --Read the full article on FierceHealthIT