This section contains information on how to begin getting to know your ICD-10-CM coded hospitalization and ED visit data and measures for assessing data quality.


Getting to Know Your Data

It is critical that injury epidemiologists spend some time exploring their data. Some recommendations for injury epidemiologists include:

  • Find an expert within the agency to help navigate the process (supervisors, coworkers, professional coders, etc.)
  • Read previous injury reports developed by the agency
  • Review data use agreements
  • Develop relationships with those who own the data (state health department, hospital association, universities, etc…).
  • Explore the data dictionary and learn the fields/variables- these can change yearly
  • Confirm with the data steward that the dataset has the correct number of observations


Assessing Data Quality

Before conducting any analyses, it is important to assess the quality of your data and understand any limitations or errors. The following document includes six measures developed to address potential quality issues in ICD-10-CM coded discharge data. It also includes two tables that illustrate injury diagnosis codes and codes that contain external cause of injury information (The subset of T, V, W, X, and Y codes* found in the ICD-10-CM external cause matrix).


Examining drug overdoses by different coding and data characteristics will inform measures impacting data quality and provide a broader understanding of the drug overdose data. This document explores measures that may impact drug overdose data quality like completeness of data and measures that describe the cases included and excluded in the drug overdose indicators.