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Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship: Use of Administrative and Surveillance Databases

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2016

Marci Drees*
Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Delaware
Jeffrey S. Gerber
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Daniel J. Morgan
University of Maryland School of Medicine, and VA Maryland Healthcare System, Baltimore, Maryland
Grace M. Lee
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Address correspondence to Marci Drees, MD, MS, Hospital Epidemiologist Christiana Care Health System, 501 W. 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 (


Administrative and surveillance data are used frequently in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship (HE&AS) research because of their wide availability and efficiency. However, data quality issues exist, requiring careful consideration and potential validation of data. This methods paper presents key considerations for using administrative and surveillance data in HE&AS, including types of data available and potential use, data limitations, and the importance of validation. After discussing these issues, we review examples of HE&AS research using administrative data with a focus on scenarios when their use may be advantageous. A checklist is provided to help aid study development in HE&AS using administrative data.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1–10

SHEA White Papers
© 2016 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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