To define the variables on the DISCOVERY request form, consider the following:
* This will provide valuable insight into how these values are documented as part of a clinician’s workflow and what is being measured. This is especially useful for variables with more complex definitions (e.g. type II diabetes defined by past diagnosis, current insulin use, or HbA1c level).
Tip: If feasible, work with a clinician to find patient records that meet the criteria defined for the variable of interest. Be sure to compare what you obtained through DISCOVERY with the list of patient records generated from working with a clinician.
For the pancreatic surgery study, glucose lab values were needed. First, glucose values were defined by the type of lab result (e.g. blood glucose), and the appropriate unit (e.g. mg/dL).
Next, the location of the variable within the patient record is defined by referring to the Top 50 Variables list to determine which tables in the database contain the lab value of interest. If unable to specifically define where the lab values are stored, however, you may submit a description of where to expect the value to be stored in the patient record and work closely with the assigned programmer to determine its specific location.
In the case study insulin administered during the inpatient hospital stay is also a variable of interest. By exploring the data using RedX with “Insulin” as a keyword, you will find multiple options, listed below. After receiving the list, working closely with the clinician will help you determine the best variables to include.