Development of data dictionary for neonatal intensive care unit: advancement towards a better critical care unit

Harpreet Singh, Ravneet Kaur, Satish Saluja, Su Jin Cho, Avneet Kaur, Ashish Kumar Pandey, Shubham Gupta, Ritu Das, Praveen Kumar, Jonathan Palma, Gautam Yadav, Yao Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Critical care units (CCUs) with extensive use of various monitoring devices generate massive data. To utilize the valuable information of these devices; data are collected and stored using systems like clinical information system and laboratory information management system. These systems are proprietary, allow limited access to their database and, have the vendor-specific clinical implementation. In this study, we focus on developing an open-source web-based meta-data repository for CCU representing stay of the patient with relevant details. Methods: After developing the web-based open-source repository named data dictionary (DD), we analyzed prospective data from 2 sites for 4 months for data quality dimensions (completeness, timeliness, validity, accuracy, and consistency), morbidity, and clinical outcomes. We used a regression model to highlight the significance of practice variations linked with various quality indicators. Results: DD with 1555 fields (89.6% categorical and 11.4% text fields) is presented to cover the clinical workflow of a CCU. The overall quality of 1795 patient days data with respect to standard quality dimensions is 87%. The data exhibit 88% completeness, 97% accuracy, 91% timeliness, and 94% validity in terms of representing CCU processes. The data scores only 67% in terms of consistency. Furthermore, quality indicators and practice variations are strongly correlated (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study documents DD for standardized data collection in CCU. DD provides robust data and insights for audit purposes and pathways for CCU to target practice improvements leading to specific quality improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
VC The Author(s) 2019


  • Data analytics
  • Data dictionary
  • Electronic health record
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Neonate health
  • Quality indicators


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