Combining multiple decedent data sources for a population-based picture of end-of-life health care utilization.
Ma J, Beliveau J, Snider W, Jordan W, Casarett D.
Journal of pain and symptom management. 2021; ():

Abstract

CONTEXT: Although health systems need to track utilization and mortality, it can be difficult to obtain reliable information on patients who die outside of the health system. This leads to missing data and introduces the potential for bias. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the linkage of patient death data sources with a tertiary health system electronic health record (EHR) to increase the accuracy of health system end-of-life health care utilization data in the last month and six months of life. METHODS: The federal Death Master File (DMF) and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) decedent files from 2017 and 2018 were linked to a health system EHR. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were utilized to define impact of additional data sources with demographic data and end-of-life utilization. RESULTS: A total of 65,935 patient deaths were identified through our multi-step data integration process. Approximately a quarter of patients (28.3%) had at least one health system encounter in the last six months of life. Of these, patient deaths identified only in the NC DHHS file were less likely (OR 0.45 [95%CI 0.39-0.52]) to be hospitalized in the last month of life. CONCLUSION: We describe a method to supplement EHR data with decedent information across data sources. While additional decedent data improves the accuracy of death data in the health system, patient healthcare utilization is biased towards those who use the health system at the end of life. CI - Published by Elsevier Inc. FAU - Ma, Jessica AU - Ma J AD - Durham Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT), Durham VA Health System, Durham, North Carolina, USA. Electronic address: Jessica.ma@duke.edu. FAU - Beliveau, Jessica AU - Beliveau J AD - Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. FAU - Snider, Wendy AU - Snider W AD - Duke Health Performance Services (W.S.), Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina, USA. FAU - Jordan, Weston AU - Jordan W AD - Office of the Chief Medical Officer (W.J.), Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



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