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Evidence of data quality in trauma registries: A systematic review

Porgo, Teegwendé Valérie MSc; Moore, Lynne PhD; Tardif, Pier-Alexandre MSc

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: April 2016 - Volume 80 - Issue 4 - p 648–658
doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000970
Systematic Review

BACKGROUND: Trauma registries are clinical databases designed for quality improvement activities and research and have made important contributions to the improvements in trauma care during the last few decades. The effectiveness of trauma registries in improving patient outcomes depends on data quality (DQ). However, our understanding of DQ in trauma registries is limited. The objective of this study was to review evidence of the completeness, accuracy, precision, correctness, consistency, and timeliness of data in trauma registries.

METHODS: A systematic review using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Library was performed including studies evaluating trauma registry DQ based on completeness, accuracy, precision, correctness, consistency, or timeliness. We also searched MEDLINE to identify regional, national, and international trauma registries whose data were used 10 times or more in original studies in the last 10 years; administrators of those registries were contacted to obtain their latest DQ report. Two authors abstracted the data independently.

RESULTS: The search retrieved 7,495 distinct published articles, of which 10 were eligible for inclusion. We also reviewed DQ reports from five provincial and international trauma registries. Evaluation was mostly based on completeness with values between 46.8% (mechanism of injury) and 100% (age and sex). Accuracy was between 81.0% (operating room time) and 99.8% (sex). No evidence of data precision or timeliness was available. Correctness varied from 47.6% (Injury Severity Score [ISS]) to 83.2% (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score) and consistency between variables from 87.5% (International Classification of Disease—9th Rev.—Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM]/Abbreviated Injury Scale [AIS]) to 99.6% (procedure time).

CONCLUSION: In the few studies we identified, DQ evaluation in trauma registries was mostly based on completeness. There is a need to develop a standardized and reproducible method to evaluate DQ in trauma registries. Determinants of DQ and the impact of DQ on trauma registry analyses such as benchmarking with quality indicators should also be explored.

From the Axe Santé des populations et pratiques optimales en santé (traumatologie-urgence-soins intensifs) (T.V.P., L.M., P.-A.T.), Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec - Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, Université Laval, Québec City; and Department of social and preventative medicine (T.V.P., L.M., P.-A.T.), Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.

Submitted: October 28, 2015, Revised: December 30, 2015, Accepted: December 30, 2015, Published online: February 13, 2016.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Address for reprints: Lynne Moore, PhD, Axe Santé des populations et pratiques optimales en santé (traumatologie-urgence-soins intensifs), Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec - Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, 1401, 18eme rue, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, G1J 1Z4; email:

© 2016 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.