Trauma registries can be invaluable tools for improving quality of care and monitoring patient outcomes, but many function below their full potential. Reliance on low-tech, manual data management methods, such as the retyping of demographic information, can lead to inefficiency, increased personnel costs, and potential error. One low-cost solution is a digital interface between the medical records coding database and the trauma registry, allowing the registrar to pull demographic information and ICD-9 diagnostic and procedure codes directly from a reliable source without re-keying them. We created a batch interface for that purpose, reducing the burden of manual data entry and decreasing the time needed to complete patient records in the registry. The interface has eliminated our backlog and allowed the trauma registrar to focus on creating timely reports to track quality indicators.
Madonna R. Walters, MS, RN, is Trauma Nurse Specialist; Susan Huehl, RN, CSTR, is Physician Trainer, Project Genesis; and Kimberly Fuller, MSBA, RN, is Trauma Registry Coordinator, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Corresponding author: Madonna R. Walters, MS, RN, Trauma Nurse Specialist/Injury Prevention Specialist Trauma Program, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Rm. 1B 82 (E), PO Box 995, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0995 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).