Heterogeneity in Trauma Registry Data Quality: Implications for Regional and National Performance Improvement in Trauma
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BACKGROUND: Led by the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program, performance improvement efforts have expanded to regional and national levels. The American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program recommends 5 audit filters to identify records with erroneous data, and the Georgia Committee on Trauma instituted standardized audit filter analysis in all Level I and II trauma centers in the state. STUDY DESIGN: Audit filter reports were performed from July 2013 to September 2014. Records were reviewed to determine whether there was erroneous data abstraction. Percent yield was defined as number of errors divided by number of charts captured. RESULTS: Twelve centers submitted complete datasets. During 15 months, 21,115 patient records were subjected to analysis. Audit filter captured 2,901 (14%) records and review yielded 549 (2.5%) records with erroneous data. Audit filter 1 had the highest number of records identified and audit filter 3 had the highest percent yield. Individual center error rates ranged from 0.4% to 5.2%. When comparing quarters 1 and 2 with quarters 4 and 5, there were 7 of 12 centers with substantial decreases in error rates. The most common missed complications were pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and acute renal failure. The most common missed comorbidities were hypertension, diabetes, and substance abuse. CONCLUSIONS: In Georgia, the prevalence of erroneous data in trauma registries varies among centers, leading to heterogeneity in data quality, and suggests that targeted educational opportunities exist at the institutional level. Standardized audit filter assessment improved data quality in the majority of participating centers.