Case study in data integration to identify a hidden population health trend.
Upon implementation of code sepsis alerts at a hospital in a predominantly Hispanic community, the number of alerts from the obstetrics unit was found to be higher than expected, but these numbers could not be explained with existing analytical procedures.
The sudden increase in maternal sepsis cases could not be explained by existing analytical procedures using a single data source and human error was suspected. Data integration using three different data sources accurately identified the problem, which corresponded to population health trends.
Code sepsis parameters recommended in existing research prompted patient tracers in obstetrics, which created a new body of statistical data for tracking obstetric sepsis cases and improving care.
Human error was dismissed and the problem of obstetric sepsis was confirmed. A new project in obstetric sepsis was initiated at the facility. More recent studies (Leonard) confirmed that Hispanic women were more likely to experience maternal complications, which fit our community demographics.