Social Security Death Index integration expands vital statistics available in HERON

The Department of Biostatistics is excited to provide for you linkage between our clinical and administrative records and the Social Secuity Death Master File released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Previously, we only had record that a patient was deceased based upon follow up at KUH/UKP or if they died while cared for at KUH/UKP (23,850 patients indicated as "Deceased" within the "Demographics" ontology). Now we have an additional indicator that the patient has died based upon records reported to the federal government (177,706 patients indicated as "Deceased per SSA" within the "Demographics" ontology).

Note, we currently are matching patients based upon an exact match of their social security number AND their date of birth.

We think this will be a powerful addition which will allow preliminary hypotheses generation regarding mortality rates between different patient cohorts. In the future we might hope to provide analysis plugins that calculate routine survival analysis.

For a neurlogical example: HERON has 1356 patients who've ever been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig's disease) at KUMC since 2000. Of those, the hospital knew 206 had died. Now that we can also check the social security administration, we know that 821 have died.

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