Coding errors: a comparative analysis of hospital and prospectively collected departmental data.
Khwaja HA., Syed H., Cranston DW.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the accuracy of a hospital coding database at a busy tertiary referral urological unit. METHODS: Prospectively collected departmental coding data for all urological patients attending the Churchill Hospital, Oxford between 1 May 1999 and 30 April 2000 were compared with the coding data entered by hospital coding clerks on the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust database. RESULTS: There were significant discrepancies between the number of patients on the hospital and the departmental database (639 vs 1109). There were gross procedural coding errors in 74 cases. CONCLUSION: Hospital-coded data in this study were incomplete and inaccurate. This has important implications when considering the validity of hospital-trust databases when used as a source for medical research, clinical audit and as a representation of a consultants' clinical workload.