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The National Trauma Data Bank Data Consistency: Can We Do Better?
Adel Elkbuli, MD, MPH1; Rudy Flores, BSPH, CSTR, CAISS, RHIT2; Dessy Boneva, MD1; Brenda Benson, RN, CEN1; Shaikh Hai, MD, FACS1; Mark McKenney, MD, MBA1
1Kendall Regional Medical Center, Miami, FL; 2HCA South Atlantic Division, Charleston, SC

Introduction: The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) is the world's largest aggregation of injury data, submitted by hospitals. Submitted data ranges from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to patient discharge. Hospitals are supposed to make efforts to collect accurate data elements. The objective of this review was to evaluate the consistency of the simple key data elements ED and EMS vital signs reported to the NTDB.

Methods: NTDBs National Sample Program (NSP) and Research Data Set (RDS) were reviewed. ED and EMS vital signs were analyzed for data consistency. The data element vital sign type and frequency tables were used to review simple uncollected data based on reporting of "not applicable" (NA) or "not known/not reported" (NK/NR).

Results: NSP and RDS have 172,387 and 968,665 patients respectively. ED vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, supplemental oxygen, temperature, and GCS) were reviewed for data consistency. The NSP ranged from 2.2%-12.9% of data elements reported as NA or NK/NR. The RDS ranged from 2.4%-10.6% reported as NA or NK/NR. EMS vital signs missing data ranged from 34.7%-49.3% in the NSP and 24.1%-33.9% in the RDS.

Conclusion: Over 12% of patients in the NTDB do not have ED vital signs and almost 50% do not have EMS vital signs reported. Hospitals submitting data to the NTDB should ensure reporting of data as simple as ED/EMS vital signs. Although NTDB is a useful tool, this level of missing data elements needs to be reduced to further research efforts.


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