Data Validation

The process of developing, implementing, and refining a registry data validation system is integral to optimal trauma registry operations. Standardizing the evaluation method of data collection becomes the foundation for analyzing the overall accuracy of registry data. Incorporation of a validation tool and evaluation method is integral for orientation, development, training, benchmarking, and accurate reporting. An objective assessment of data can be achieved through the use of standardized definitions and descriptors, precise measurements, comparative re-abstractions, and structured evaluation.

Internal (peer review) and external (independent) data verification/validation processes provide dual complementary structured evaluation methods for registry integrity. Verifying data is often conducted internally to evaluate whether the data complies with dictionary definitions, open field options, and parameters for diagnoses, comorbidities, and value-assigned data points. Data validation is performed to ensure data integrity and reliability.

An external validation process is intended to check for accuracy of entered data. Trauma registry programs conduct effective internal data validations often utilizing a peer-review model. The goal of the external data validation is to determine if the trauma registry data is entered correctly and in accordance with regulatory definitions and requirements. The Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) provides a data external validation service for members to determine if the data reflects the inpatient medical record and has been interpreted according to the State of Ohio Trauma Registry definitions and specifications. This service should be used to support or affirm the results of internal/peer data validation.