Understanding causes of injury among veterans is important for development of injury prevention and rehabilitation services. External cause-of-injury codes (E-codes) provide this information and are available in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) administrative data. Using medical records for comparison, we studied the accuracy of E-coding in discharge data for 566 VHA polytrauma inpatients. Of the injured patients, 74 percent had been assigned E-codes. E-coding accuracy varied by VHA site and was better for combat-related injuries (81% E-coded) than for other injuries. E-coding accuracy should be improved before E-codes are used as a single source of data on causes of veterans' injuries.
Volume 47 Number 8, 2010
Pages 689 — 698
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:59 AM