Objective: To determine the accuracy of the hospital discharge coding of heart failure (HF) in the Western Australian (WA) Hospital Morbidity Data (HMD).
Methods: A retrospective medical chart review of a sample of 1,006 patients with a principal diagnosis code indicating HF in the WA HMD was undertaken. Validation was reported against a written diagnosis of HF in the medical chart and using Boston criteria score as a gold standard.
Results: The positive predictive value (PPV) of the HMD coding of HF as the principal diagnosis was 99.5% when compared to the medical chart diagnosis and 92.4% when compared to the Boston score criteria for 'definite' HF and 98.8% for a combined 'possible' and 'definite' HF Boston score.
Conclusions: With the high predictive accuracy, the WA HMD can be used with confidence to monitor trends in the epidemiology of in-hospital HF patients.