Validation of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses in Large Healthcare Systems with Electronic Medical Records

J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Jul;45(7):1989-96. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2358-0.


To identify factors associated with valid Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses from electronic sources in large healthcare systems. We examined 1,272 charts from ASD diagnosed youth <18 years old. Expert reviewers classified diagnoses as confirmed, probable, possible, ruled out, or not enough information. A total of 845 were classified with 81% as a confirmed, probable, or possible ASD diagnosis. The predictors of valid ASD diagnoses were >2 diagnoses in the medical record (OR 2.94; 95% CI 2.03-4.25; p < 0.001) and being male (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.05-2.17; p = 0.03). In large integrated healthcare settings, at least two diagnoses can be used to identify ASD patients for population-based research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity