The reliability of information on work-related injuries available from hospitalisation data in Australia

McKenzie, Kirsten, Mitchell, Rebecca, Scott, Deborah A., Harrison, James E., & McClure, Roderick J. (2009) The reliability of information on work-related injuries available from hospitalisation data in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 33(4), pp. 332-338.

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Objective: To examine the reliability of work-related activity coding for injury-related hospitalisations in Australia. Method: A random sample of 4373 injury-related hospital separations from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2004 were obtained from a stratified random sample of 50 hospitals across 4 states in Australia. From this sample, cases were identified as work-related if they contained an ICD-10-AM work-related activity code (U73) allocated by either: (i) the original coder; (ii) an independent auditor, blinded to the original code; or (iii) a research assistant, blinded to both the original and auditor codes, who reviewed narrative text extracted from the medical record. The concordance of activity coding and number of cases identified as work-related using each method were compared. Results: Of the 4373 cases sampled, 318 cases were identified as being work-related using any of the three methods for identification. The original coder identified 217 and the auditor identified 266 work-related cases (68.2% and 83.6% of the total cases identified, respectively). Around 10% of cases were only identified through the text description review. The original coder and auditor agreed on the assignment of work-relatedness for 68.9% of cases. Conclusions and Implications: The current best estimates of the frequency of hospital admissions for occupational injury underestimate the burden by around 32%. This is a substantial underestimate that has major implications for public policy, and highlights the need for further work on improving the quality and completeness of routine, administrative data sources for a more complete identification of work-related injuries.

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ID Code: 27784
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: wounds and injuries, workplace, hospitalisation, validation studies as a topic, international classification of diseases, medical records
DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2009.00404.x
ISSN: 1326-0200
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 > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Wiley Blackwell
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 07 Oct 2009 00:12
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2015 04:28

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