Coding external causes of injuries: problems and solutions

McKenzie, Kirsten A., Enraght-Moony, Emma L., Walker, Sue M., Harding, Leith F., Waller, Garry S., & Chen, Linping (2008) Coding external causes of injuries: problems and solutions. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40(2), pp. 714-718.

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Complete and accurate information about hospitalised injuries is essential for injury risk and outcome research, though the accuracy and reliability of hospital data for injury surveillance are often questioned. To ascertain clinical coders' views of the reasons for a lack of specificity in external cause code usage and ways to improve external cause coding, a nationwide survey of coders was conducted in Australia in 2006. Four hundred and two coders participated in the questionnaire. The results of this study show that discharge summaries and doctors’ notes were the poorest source of information regarding external causes, place of injury occurrence, and activity at the time of injury. Coders viewed missing external cause information and missing documentation as having the greatest impact on the quality of external cause coding. A large majority of coders suggested that improving clinical documentation in the emergency department and introducing a centralised structured form for external cause information would improve the quality of external cause coding. Clinical coders are a valuable source of information regarding problems with, and solutions to the collection of high quality data and this research has highlighted several areas where improvements can be made and further research is needed.

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ID Code: 13609
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Injury surveillance, External cause coding, Clinical coders, Survey
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2007.09.008
ISSN: 0001-4575
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Research Centres > National Centre for Health Information Research & Training
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Elsevier
Deposited On: 22 May 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 00:05

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