Adding Laboratory Data to Hospital Claims Data to Improve Risk Adjustment of Inpatient/30-Day Postdischarge Outcomes

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Numerical laboratory data at admission have been proposed for enhancement of inpatient predictive modeling from administrative claims. In this study, predictive models for inpatient/30-day postdischarge mortality and for risk-adjusted prolonged length of stay, as a surrogate for severe inpatient complications of care, were designed with administrative data only and with administrative data plus numerical laboratory variables. A comparison of resulting inpatient models for acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass grafting, and percutaneous cardiac interventions demonstrated improved discrimination and calibration with administrative data plus laboratory values compared to administrative data only for both mortality and prolonged length of stay. Improved goodness of fit was most apparent in acute myocardial infarction and percutaneous cardiac intervention. The emergence of electronic medical records should make the addition of laboratory variables to administrative data an efficient and practical method to clinically enhance predictive modeling of inpatient outcomes of care.

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