State Your Research Question

State Your Research Question

Briefly state your research question in the DISCOVERY data request. This helps the database programmer understand which data elements will best address your research needs.

Tip: If the question is heavily focused on specific clinical conditions, include a brief description of the diagnosis or procedure of interest.

Example:
The purpose of this study is to identify whether changes in glucose levels before, after, and during the pancreatic surgery are associated with hospital outcomes, specifically mortality and readmission rates after discharge. Pancreatic surgery in this case is defined as any surgery associated with the diagnosis group (DRG) 435: ‘Malignancy of hepatobiliary system or pancreas with Major Complication or Comorbidity’. In addition, we are interested in whether glucose management technique (i.e. subcutaneous glucose versus insulin drip) have an impact on glucose levels and resulting hospital outcomes.

A Note on Coding: Data within the CDW is often coded using the International Classification of Disease 9th Edition (ICD-9), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and Med codes.

  • ICD9 is used to code signs, symptoms, injuries, diseases, and conditions. A list of codes may be found here: http://icd9cm.chrisendres.com/.
  • CPT codes are used to describe medical, surgical, and diagnostic services.
    The link between the two coding systems is that the diagnosis code designated by the ICD9 code supports the medical necessity of the procedure designated by the CPT code.
  • MED codes

Note that searching by ICD-9 diagnosis or procedure code is not the only route to take, though it can be the most reliable.

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