Advancing the use of administrative data for emergency department diagnostic imaging research

Damon R. Kuehl, Carl T. Berdahl, Tiffany D. Jackson, Arjun K. Venkatesh, Rakesh D. Mistry, Mythreyi Bhargavan-Chatfield, Neha P. Raukar, Brendan G. Carr, Jeremiah D. Schuur, Keith E. Kocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Administrative data are critical to describing patterns of use, cost, and appropriateness of imaging in emergency care. These data encompass a range of source materials that have been collected primarily for a nonresearch use: documenting clinical care (e.g., medical records), administering care (e.g., picture archiving and communication systems), or financial transactions (e.g., insurance claims). These data have served as the foundation for large, descriptive studies that have documented the rise and expanded role of diagnostic imaging in the emergency department (ED). This article summarizes the discussions of the breakout session on the use of administrative data for emergency imaging research at the May 2015 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference, "Diagnostic Imaging in the Emergency Department: A Research Agenda to Optimize Utilization." The authors describe the areas where administrative data have been applied to research evaluating the use of diagnostic imaging in the ED, the common sources for these data, and the strengths and limitations of administrative data. Next, the future role of administrative data is examined for answering key research questions in an evolving health system increasingly focused on measuring appropriateness, ensuring quality, and improving value for health spending. This article specifically focuses on four thematic areas: data quality, appropriateness and value, special populations, and policy interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1426
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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