A validation study: how effective is the Hospital Morbidity Data as a surveillance tool for heart failure in Western Australia?

Aust N Z J Public Health. 2008 Oct;32(5):405-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2008.00269.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Forms and Records Control / standards
  • Heart Failure / classification
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Hospital Information Systems
  • Hospitals, Urban / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Medical Audit*
  • Morbidity
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Western Australia / epidemiology