Accuracy of the Charlson Index Comorbidities Derived from a Hospital Electronic Database in a Teaching Hospital in Saudi Arabia
Adel Youssef, Hana Alharthi
Hospital management and researchers are increasingly using electronic databases to study utilization, effectiveness, and outcomes of healthcare provision. Although several studies have examined the accuracy of electronic databases developed for general administrative purposes, few studies have examined electronic databases created to document the care provided by individual hospitals. In this study, we assessed the accuracy of an electronic database in a major teaching hospital in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, in documenting the 17 comorbidities constituting the Charlson index as recorded in paper charts by care providers. Using the hospital electronic database, the researchers randomly selected the data for 1,019 patients admitted to the hospital and compared the data for accuracy with the corresponding paper charts. Compared with the paper charts, the hospital electronic database did not differ significantly in prevalence for 9 conditions but differed from the paper charts for 8 conditions. The kappa (Ƙ) values of agreement ranged from a high of 0.91 to a low of 0.09. Of the 17 comorbidities, the electronic database had substantial or excellent agreement for 10 comorbidities relative to paper chart data, and only one showed poor agreement. Sensitivity ranged from a high of 100.0 percent to a low of 6.0 percent. Specificity for all comorbidities was greater than 93 percent. The results suggest that the hospital electronic database reasonably agrees with patient chart data and can have a role in healthcare planning and research. The analysis conducted in this study could be performed in individual institutions to assess the accuracy of an electronic database before deciding on its utility in planning or research.
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