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Identifying Ectopic Pregnancy in a Large Integrated Health Care Delivery System: Algorithm Validation

Surveillance of ectopic pregnancy (EP) using electronic databases is important. To our knowledge, no published study has assessed the validity of EP case ascertainment using electronic health records. We aimed to assess the validity of an enhanced version of a previously validated algorithm, which used a combination of encounters with EP-related diagnostic/procedure codes and methotrexate injections. Medical records of 500 women aged 15-44 years with membership at Kaiser Permanente Southern and Northern California between 2009 and 2018 and a potential EP were randomly selected for chart review, and true cases were identified. The enhanced algorithm included diagnostic/procedure codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, used telephone appointment visits, and excluded cases with only abdominal EP diagnosis codes. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and overall performance (Youden index and F-score) of the algorithm were evaluated and compared to the validated algorithm. There were 334 true positive and 166 true negative EP cases with available records. True positive and true negative EP cases did not differ significantly according to maternal age, race/ethnicity, and smoking status. EP cases with only one encounter and non-tubal EPs were more likely to be misclassified. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of the enhanced algorithm for EP were 97.6%, 84.9%, 92.9%, and 94.6%, respectively. The Youden index and F-score were 82.5% and 95.2%, respectively. The sensitivity and NPV were lower for the previously published algorithm at 94.3% and 88.1%, respectively. The sensitivity of surgical procedure codes from electronic chart abstraction to correctly identify surgical management was 91.9%. The overall accuracy, defined as the percentage of EP cases with correct management (surgical, medical, and unclassified) identified by electronic chart abstraction, was 92.3%. The performance of the enhanced algorithm for EP case ascertainment in integrated health care databases is adequate to allow for use in future epidemiological studies. Use of this algorithm will likely result in better capture of true EP cases than the previously validated algorithm.

Authors: Getahun, Darios; Alexeeff, Stacey; Raine-Bennett, Tina; et al.

JMIR Med Inform. 2020 Nov 30;8(11):e18559. Epub 2020-11-30.

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