Title: The National Ambulatory Care Reporting System: factors that affect the quality of its emergency data

Authors: Debbie Gibson, Heather Richards, Ann Chapman

Addresses: Data Quality Department, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 495 Richmond Rd, Suite 600, Ottawa, ON K2A 4H6, Canada. ' Data Quality Department, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 495 Richmond Rd, Suite 600, Ottawa, ON K2A 4H6, Canada. ' Data Quality Department, Canadian Institute for Health Information, 495 Richmond Rd, Suite 600, Ottawa, ON K2A 4H6, Canada

Abstract: The National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) records details of all of Ontario|s emergency department visits. It is used for several planning, reporting and research purposes including facility-specific utilisation management decisions, costing and clinical outcomes research, policy development, and system planning and evaluation. Uses of NACRS data for these purposes rely on the data being both complete and accurate. Our goal was to determine the factors that affect the collection of high-quality NACRS emergency department data. The study involved surveying 15 facilities sampled from Ontario for a reabstraction study and completion of a self-administered questionnaire. The reabstraction study was designed to compare data obtained via the study to original data included on the NACRS database. The questionnaire collected information on facility practices. Study facilities were grouped by questionnaire responses, and comparisons of data discrepancy and agreement rates between groups highlighted the relationship between facility practices and data accuracy.

Keywords: data quality; hospital emergency departments; questionnaire; reabstraction; information accuracy; methodology; chart documentation; diagnostic coding; coding errors; information systems; information quality; National Ambulatory Care Reporting System; NACRS; Canada; patient visits.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIQ.2008.022958

International Journal of Information Quality, 2008 Vol.2 No.2, pp.97 - 114

Published online: 05 Feb 2009 *

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