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Article
June 13, 1990

The Identification of Pneumoconiosis From Hospital Discharge Data-Reply

Author Affiliations

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine East Lansing
New Jersey Department of Health Trenton

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine East Lansing
New Jersey Department of Health Trenton

JAMA. 1990;263(22):3025. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440220047027
Abstract

In Reply. —  Dr S. S. Winkler and Mr D. S. Winkler suggest that hospital discharge summaries only occasionally include the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis when the patient has roentgenographic evidence of pneumoconiosis but pneumoconiosis is not the primary cause of hospitalization. If this is true, then this would be an additional reason why hospital discharge data do not pick up all diagnosed cases of pneumoconiosis. Despite our reliance on hospital discharge data for the source of cases for our silicosis surveillance system, we are well aware that discharge data are not allinclusive. Our efforts to encourage reports by individual physicians, although continuing, have not been extremely successful. Hospital discharge data do capture more cases than the current legally mandated federal surveillance system for occupational disease. What is particularly useful about hospital discharge data are their ready availability at relatively low cost.The underreporting on discharge summaries described in the Winklers'

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