Insights from and limitations of data linkage studies: analysis of short stay urgent admission referral source from routinely collected Scottish data

Smita Dick, Richard Kyle, Philip Wilson, Lorna Aucott, Emma France, E. King, C. Malcolm, P. Hoddinott, Steve Turner* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction. This study identified the referral source for urgent short stay admissions (SSA) and compared characteristics of children with a SSA stratified by different referral sources.
Methods. Routinely acquired data from urgent admissions to Scottish hospitals during 2015-2017 were linked to data held by the three referral sources: emergency department (ED), out of hours service (OOH), and general practice (GP).
Results. There were 171,039 admissions including 92,229 (54%) SSA. Only 171 (19%) of all of Scotland’s GP practices contributed data. Among the subgroup of 10,588 SSA where GP data were available (11% all SSA) there was contact with the following referral source on the day of admission: only ED 1,853 (18%), only GP 3,384 (32%), only OOH 823 (8%). Additionally, 2,165 (20%) had contact
with more than one referral source and 1,037 (10%) had contact with referral source(s) on the day before the admission. When all 92,229 SSA were considered, those with an ED referrer were more likely to be for older children, of white ethnicity, living in more deprived communities, and diagnosed with asthma, convulsions or croup. The odds ratio for an SSA for a given condition differed by referral source and ranged from 0.07 to 1.9 (with reference to ED referrals).
Conclusion. This study yielded insights and potential limitations regarding data linkage in a healthcare setting. Data coverage, particularly from primary care needs to improve further. Evidence from data linkage studies can inform future intervention designed to provide safe integrated care pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-246
Number of pages2
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Volume108
Early online date9 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The study was funded by the Chief Scientist Officer (HIPS/18/09). We are grateful for Dave Kelly at Albasoft for providing primary care data. We are grateful to Rebecca Fairnie at Electronic Data Research and Innovation Service for managing our access to all data.

Keywords

  • Health services research
  • Emergency care
  • child health services
  • Paediatric Emergency medicine
  • Primary health care

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Insights from and limitations of data linkage studies: analysis of short stay urgent admission referral source from routinely collected Scottish data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this