Background: The Quality Unit of a research and teaching hospital in Milan assessed the increased clinical use of fresh-frozen plasma in patients treated during 2012 in order to evaluate the appropriateness of this use. Materials and methods: For each patient in the study, a pathology profile was generated by means of record linkage techniques involving data collected through different information systems. Patients' information was combined using the patient identifier key generating pathology profiles exported to an Excel file. The profiles were reviewed by two haematologists who identified 101 potentially inappropriate treatments for which the medical records had to be reviewed manually. Results: In 2012, 490 patients were transfused and for 473 cases the automatic record linkage provided a complete profile. The information relating to the remaining patients did not match, mainly because the patients underwent outpatient procedures for which clinical information is not automatically recorded. In the overall audit only 13 treatments were judged inappropriate. Discussion: Our study supports the view that record linkage techniques applied to data routinely recorded in different hospital information systems could be potentially extended to support clinical audits, enabling the generation of automated patient profiles that can be easily evaluated, relegating manual checks on medical records to doubtful cases only. Moreover, the method applied in this study allows the analysis of a full set of cases instead of sample surveys, increasing the robustness of the audit results.
- Clinical governance assessment
- Health information systems
- Record linkage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy