For different research and study goals, as well as analysis and statistics, different databases provide varying results based on the information contained in them. The advantages and disadvantages of the two most popular sources, medical records, and administrative data stem from their particular reflection of “clinical quality, financial performance, patient satisfaction, and functional status” (Byrnes, 2014, p.113-114). Thus, they supply the one viewing them with two distinct perspectives on patient outcomes and facility performance.
Medical records reflect patients’ treatment results and may be used to conclude various facilities’ treatment effectiveness. However, despite being seemingly more accurate and unburdened with financial data, they are more time-consuming, making such type of review less cost-effective (Byrnes, 2014). Furthermore, their “timestamp” accuracy balances off with the fact that medical records often require the patient to be discharged before becoming accessible for study, thus, forbidding analysis before the success of treatment (Byrnes, 2014). Nonetheless, the qualitative advantages of medical records lie in their extensity and precision of client-related information, readily demonstrating the effect of conducted care, which their negative fixation on the patient, rather than the facility, opposes.
Administrative data, such as information on patient registration, conducted transactions, and record-keeping, reflects the day-to-day operations that seem directly unrelated to healthcare but provide essential organizational details. This type of data conveys “clinical quality, financial performance, and certain patient outcomes,” providing an overview that is not just focused on a single patient, which allows concluding overall treatment quality (Byrnes, 2014, p. 120). However, even despite their recurring auditing and data refinement, administrative information is less time-precise and patient-oriented, focusing instead on the healthcare establishment (Byrnes, 2014). Thus, qualitatively, administrative data allows viewing a more exhaustive range of information that is at the same timeless precise.
Using both types of data together may supply researchers with a better understanding of all aspects of healthcare instead of one viewpoint overpowering the analysis. Additionally, information from dual sources helps reduce the negatives of both, for example, balancing a facility’s average treatment numbers against individual ones. Therefore, the precision of medical records together with the statistics of administrative data could permit concluding the qualitative effectivity of treatment for both patients and their healthcare provider, showing its long-term integrity.
Byrnes, J. J. (2014). Data collection. In M. Joshi, E. R. Ransom, D. B. Nash, & S. B. Ransom (Eds.), The healthcare quality book : Vision, strategy, and tools (3rd ed., pp. 111-133). Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.