Factors Associated with Stroke Coding Quality: A Comparison of Registry and Administrative Data

Olivia F. Ryan, Merilyn Riley, Dominique A. Cadilhac, Nadine E. Andrew, Sibilah Breen, Kate Paice, Sam Shehata, Vijaya Sundararajan, Natasha A. Lannin, Joosup Kim, Monique F. Kilkenny

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Background: The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) codes are commonly used to identify patients with diseases or clinical conditions for epidemiological research. We aimed to determine the diagnostic agreement and factors associated with a clinician-assigned stroke diagnosis in a national registry and the ICD-10-AM codes recorded in government-held administrative data. Materials and methods: Data from 39 hospitals (2009–2013) participating in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR) were linked and merged with person-level administrative data. The AuSCR clinician-assigned stroke diagnosis was the reference standard. Concordance was defined as agreement between the clinician-assigned diagnosis and the ICD-10-AM codes for acute stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (ICD-10-AM codes: I61–I64, G45.9). Multivariable logistic regression was undertaken to assess factors associated with coded diagnostic concordance. Results: A total of 14,716 patient admissions were included (46% female, 63% ischemic, 14% intracerebral hemorrhage [ICH], 18% TIA and 5% unspecified stroke based on the reference standard). Principal ICD-10-AM code concordance was ICH: 76.7%; ischemic stroke: 72.2%; TIA: 80.2%; unspecified stroke: 50.8%. Factors associated with a greater odds of ischemic stroke concordance included: treatment in a stroke unit (adjusted Odds Ratio, aOR:1.58; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37, 1.82); length of stay >4 days (aOR:1.30; 95% CI 1.17, 1.45); and discharge destination other than home (Residential care aOR:1.57; 95% CI 1.24, 1.96; Inpatient rehabilitation aOR:1.63; 95% CI 1.43, 1.86). Conclusions: Diagnostic concordance varied based on stroke type. Future research to improve the quality of coding for stroke should focus on patients not treated in stroke units or with shorter lengths of stay where documentation in medical records may be limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105469
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Health administrative data
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Stroke
  • Validation studies

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