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Comment & Response
July 2017

Error in Table in Defining Rates and Risk Factors for Readmissions Following Emergency General Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(7):706. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.0410

To the Editor The study “Defining Rates and Risk Factors for Readmissions Following Emergency General Surgery”1 is an analysis of the State Inpatient Database, a restricted-access, publicly available data set that is maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). One of the provisions of the State Inpatient Database Data Use Agreement, which was signed when purchasing the data, is that no data observation involving less than or equal to 10 observations is to be published. This measure was put in place by the AHRQ to protect individual patients’ privacy and to prevent the potential disclosure of personal information. In the article, there was 1 tabulated cell that is in violation of this provision. This represents an inadvertent failure to comply with the Data Use Agreement. For this, we apologize. While we are fully confident that nothing in the article could be used to identify individuals or their personal information, the fact remains that the disclosures are in violation of the AHRQ guidelines. We have therefore asked the editors of JAMA Surgery to post a corrected online version of our article that is in compliance with the AHRQ guidelines and request that, going forward, authors cite the corrected version of our article.

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