AHRQ Grantees Describe How To Enhance Data Collection for Discharge Databases
A special issue of Health Services Research describes the challenges and lessons learned among AHRQ grantees seeking to enhance the clinical content and ethnic/racial data collection for statewide hospital discharge databases. Five states (Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York) received grants to expand the clinical content of their databases while two states and one region (California, New Mexico and the Northwest region) used funding to improve racial/ethnicity data collection. AHRQ developed two toolkits – Clinical Content Enhancement Toolkit and Race and Ethnicity Data Improvement Toolkit – that reflect the grantees’ experiences in improving data collection. The toolkits are designed to assist state data organizations that collect hospital administrative data, such as those participating in AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. An overview of the grant projects is available here. “Enhancing Statewide Hospital Discharge Databases: Improving Race, Ethnicity and Clinical Data” was published August 1.
Clinical Content Enhancement Toolkit
This toolkit provides practical tools and guidance to those interested in broadening and supplementing their existing administrative health data by adding clinical data elements. The toolkit is designed for statewide data organizations that collect hospital administrative data, such as those participating in AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. However, the toolkit may also be useful for a variety of others with a role in enhancing administrative databases with clinical data elements, such as hospital leadership, quality improvement personnel, clinicians, and hospital IT departments.
The toolkit is based on the materials developed by, and the experiences of, five AHRQ Enhanced State Data grantees from Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York who collaborated with state and health care provider organizations to enhance existing hospital claims databases with clinical data, and use them to demonstrate how the enhancements improved their value in comparative effectiveness research. Enhancements included linking hospital claims data to hospital numerical laboratory data, to hospital ambulatory and emergency room claims data, to birth and death certificate data, to inpatient pharmacy order data, and to pre-admission emergency medical services data.