The VDW vital signs file: 2011 quality assurance activities [poster] Conference Poster uri icon
  • Background/Aims: The VDW Vitals Workgroup specifies data standards for the four traditional clinical vital signs (body temperature, blood pressure, respirations, heart rate) and other physiological measures that are collected routinely during clinic visits, such as height and weight. Data specifications changed considerably between the older Version 2, and the current Version 3. The Vitals Workgroup recently completed quality assurance review of the vital signs data from the sites participating in the VDW. The aim of this review is to ensure that sites have standardized their data tables according to Workgroup Version 3 specifications, data are within plausible ranges, and to assess the abundance of data. Methods: The Vitals Workgroup developed and distributed a SAS program to all HMORN sites collecting quality information, abundance (counts), and distributions of vitals measurements for the years 2001 through 2010. We checked for data anomalies and summarized the distributions of height, weight, and systolic- and diastolic blood pressure according to site, age, gender, and year. Results: Data were received from 12 of the 15 HMORN sites. The 3 sites not reporting do not have a Vitals Table. Variable lengths were often set to the SAS default instead of the specified length. Seven sites had instances of diastolic blood pressure greater than the corresponding systolic blood pressure. One site had blood pressure measurements skewed considerably lower than the other 11. Data were highly abundant, although the years of data availability vary considerably across sites. Conclusions: Several sites had correctable errors such as incorrect formats and data types. The nature of errors suggested that some sites do not have on-going internal quality assurance procedures in place. The data are sufficiently clean for simple counts, but quality and abundance of data needs to be evaluated at the site level prior to use of data for research.

  • publication date
  • 2012
  • Research
  • Data Systems
  • Informatics
  • Research Support