To the Editor In the June issue of JAMA Surgery, health services research experts outlined common secondary data sets and provided a checklist to guide researchers when analyzing these data.1 However, a single data set is often insufficient to answer many research questions appropriately. This may be because the data set (1) does not have enough information to control for confounding variables (eg, administrative claims data without enough clinical information), (2) does not include data over multiple clinical encounters (eg, hospitalization data sets without any patient follow-up information), or (3) was collected for a different purpose than the research question (eg, utilization data without clinical information).
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Squitieri L, Russell TA, Ko CY. When One Data Set Is Insufficient—Things to Consider When Linking Secondary Data. JAMA Surg. Published online December 05, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4750
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