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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Data quality and outcomes analysis on administrative health data Anderson, Marianne

Abstract

Administrative data are collected operationally on functional units through the process of normal business operations. In the case of health organisations, administrative data can include record-level patient demographics such as age and other physical characteristics, injury and treatment dates, codes, and their associated descriptions, as well as treatment fees and other costs. Outcomes research on such data may allow businesses to identify best practices, and to reduce costs by using existing demographic, injury and treatment data as predictors. The impact of poor data quality on an attempt to perform outcomes analysis uncovered the need to examine and address data quality issues and their impact on decision-making and research applications. To demonstrate the effective use of administrative and outcome-measurement data, a custom-application database was constructed and populated with existing (paper) records and with new administrative and outcome data for a pain treatment called Pulsed Signal Therapy. These data were massaged into a form that would allow for statistical analysis and possibly the identification of factors and trends that could expedite experimental design to test any hypotheses which may arise. Analysis of these data indicates that while the initial scores are consistently strong predictors across all measures of outcome, differences between groups appear over time immediately after treatment. Although it appears that older people are more likely to see an improvement than younger clients, age group and injury type are strongly associated. For Pain Frequency, we see not only a main effect based on the age of injury, but an apparent interaction between the age of the injury and the initial Pain Frequency score. Although data at the low end of initial scores are sparse, at the higher end, older injuries are less likely to see an improvement than more recent injuries. Finally, Restriction of Movement at one year post-treatment shows us that patients in the older age group are less likely to see an improvement from baseline Restriction of Movement. Although these are not experimental data, the trends identified through this type of analysis may be useful in guiding experimental design for hypothesis testing.

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