Using administrative databases for outcomes research: select examples from VA Health Services Research and Development

J Med Syst. 1999 Jun;23(3):249-59. doi: 10.1023/a:1020579806511.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates and maintains one of the largest health care systems under a single management structure in the world. The coordination of administrative and clinical information on veterans served by the VA health care system is a daunting and critical function of the Department. This article provides an overview of VA Health Services Research and Development Service initiatives to assist researchers in using extant VA databases to study patient-centered health care outcomes. As examples, studies using the VA's Patient Treatment File (PTF) and the Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator System (BIRLS) Death File are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Databases as Topic* / classification
  • Databases as Topic* / organization & administration
  • Death Certificates
  • Health Services Research*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Management Information Systems* / classification
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Identification Systems
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs*