Article

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

Details

Citation

Dick S, Kyle R, Wilson P, Aucott L, France E, King E, Malcolm C, Hoddinott P & Turner SW (2022) Insights from and limitations of data linkage studies: analysis of short-stay urgent admission referral source from routinely collected Scottish data. Archives of Disease in Childhood. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2022-324171

Abstract
Introduction This study identified the referral source for urgent short-stay admissions (SSAs) and compared characteristics of children with 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 (OOH) service and general practice (GP). Results There were 171 039 admissions including 92 229 (54%) SSAs. Only 171 (19%) of all of Scotland’s GP practices contributed data. Among the subgroup of 10 588 SSAs where GP data were available (11% all SSA), there was contact with the following referral source on the day of admission: only ED, 1853 (18%); only GP, 3384 (32%); and only OOH, 823 (8%). Additionally, 2165 (20%) had contact with more than one referral source, and 1037 (10%) had contact with referral source(s) on the day before the admission. When all 92 229 SSAs 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.

Keywords
Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Archives of Disease in Childhood

StatusIn Press
FundersCSO Chief Scientist Office
Publication date online09/09/2022
Date accepted by journal14/08/2022
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/34680
PublisherBMJ
ISSN0003-9888
eISSN1468-2044

People (3)

People

Dr Emma France

Dr Emma France

Associate Professor, Health Sciences Stirling

Professor Pat Hoddinott

Professor Pat Hoddinott

Chair in Primary Care, NMAHP

Dr Emma King

Dr Emma King

Research Fellow, NMAHP