Accuracy of obstetric diagnoses and procedures in hospital discharge data

Shagufta Yasmeen, Patrick S. Romano, Michael E. Schembri, Janet M. Keyzer, William M. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to estimate the validity of obstetric procedures and diagnoses in California patient discharge data. Study design: We randomly sampled 1611 deliveries from 52 of 267 California hospitals that performed more than 678 eligible deliveries in 1992 to 1993. We compared hospital-reported procedures and diagnoses against our recoding of the same records. Results: Cesarean, forceps, and vacuum delivery were accurately reported, with sensitivities and positive predictive values exceeding 90%. Episiotomy was underreported (70% sensitivity). Cesarean indications were reported with at least 60% sensitivity, except uterine inertia, herpes, and long labor. Among comorbidities, sensitivity exceeded 60% for chorioamnionitis, diabetes, premature labor, preeclampsia, and intrauterine death. Sensitivity was poor (less than 60%) for anemia, asthma, thyroid disorders, mental disorders, drug abuse, genitourinary infections, obesity, fibroids, excessive fetal growth, hypertension, premature rupture, polyhydramnios, and postdates. Conclusion: The validity of hospital-reported obstetric procedures and diagnoses varies, with moderate to high accuracy for some codes but poor accuracy for others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-1001
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Accuracy
  • Administrative data
  • Obstetrics
  • Risk factors
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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