Identifying patients with severe sepsis using administrative claims: Patient-level validation of the angus implementation of the international consensus conference definition of severe sepsis

Theodore J. Iwashyna, Andrew Odden, Jeffrey Rohde, Catherine Bonham, Latoya Kuhn, Preeti Malani, Lena Chen, Scott Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

183 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND:: Severe sepsis is a common and costly problem. Although consistently defined clinically by consensus conference since 1991, there have been several different implementations of the severe sepsis definition using ICD-9-CM codes for research. We conducted a single center, patient-level validation of 1 common implementation of the severe sepsis definition, the so-called "Angus" implementation. METHODS:: Administrative claims for all hospitalizations for patients initially admitted to general medical services from an academic medical center in 2009-2010 were reviewed. On the basis of ICD-9-CM codes, hospitalizations were sampled for review by 3 internal medicine-trained hospitalists. Chart reviews were conducted with a structured instrument, and the gold standard was the hospitalists' summary clinical judgment on whether the patient had severe sepsis. RESULTS:: Three thousand one hundred forty-six (13.5%) hospitalizations met ICD-9-CM criteria for severe sepsis by the Angus implementation (Angus-positive) and 20,142 (86.5%) were Angus-negative. Chart reviews were performed for 92 randomly selected Angus-positive and 19 randomly-selected Angus-negative hospitalizations. Reviewers had a κ of 0.70. The Angus implementation's positive predictive value was 70.7% [95% confidence interval (CI): 51.2%, 90.5%]. The negative predictive value was 91.5% (95% CI: 79.0%, 100%). The sensitivity was 50.4% (95% CI: 14.8%, 85.7%). Specificity was 96.3% (95% CI: 92.4%, 100%). Two alternative ICD-9-CM implementations had high positive predictive values but sensitivities of <20%. CONCLUSIONS:: The Angus implementation of the international consensus conference definition of severe sepsis offers a reasonable but imperfect approach to identifying patients with severe sepsis when compared with a gold standard of structured review of the medical chart by trained hospitalists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e39-e43
JournalMedical care
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Medicare
  • Severe sepsis
  • administrative claims
  • infection
  • positive predictive value
  • sensitivity

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