Accuracy of external cause-of-injury coding in VA polytrauma patient discharge records.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Wounds and injuries (Prevention)
Medical records (Usage)
Veterans (Health aspects)
Author: Carlson, Kathleen F.
Pub Date: 12/30/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development Publisher: Department of Veterans Affairs Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs ISSN: 0748-7711
Issue: Date: Dec 30, 2010 Source Volume: 47 Source Issue: 8
Product: Product Code: E198380 Veterans
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 246450384
Full Text: Understanding causes of injury among veterans is important for development of injury prevention and rehabilitation services. External cause-of-injury codes (E-codes) provide this information and are available in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative data. Using medical records for comparison, we studied the accuracy of E-coding in discharge data for 566 VHA polytrauma inpatients. Of the injured patients, 74 percent had been assigned E-codes. E-coding accuracy varied by VHA site and was better for combat-related injuries (81% E-coded) than for other injuries. E-coding accuracy should be improved before E-codes are used as a single source of data on causes of veterans' injuries.

Kathleen F. Carlson, MS, PhD, et al.
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