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NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2019 Dec 4;29(1):42. doi: 10.1038/s41533-019-0154-6.

Primary care risk stratification in COPD using routinely collected data: a secondary data analysis.

Author information

1
MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. mj2@mrc.soton.ac.uk.
2
NIHR ARC Wessex Data Science Hub, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. mj2@mrc.soton.ac.uk.
3
NIHR ARC Wessex, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
4
NIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.
5
NIHR ARC Wessex Data Science Hub, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
6
Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
7
Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.
8
Wessex Investigational Sciences Hub, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK.

Abstract

Most clinical contacts with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients take place in primary care, presenting opportunity for proactive clinical management. Electronic health records could be used to risk stratify diagnosed patients in this setting, but may be limited by poor data quality or completeness. We developed a risk stratification database algorithm using the DOSE index (Dyspnoea, Obstruction, Smoking and Exacerbation) with routinely collected primary care data, aiming to calculate up to three repeated risk scores per patient over five years, each separated by at least one year. Among 10,393 patients with diagnosed COPD, sufficient primary care data were present to calculate at least one risk score for 77.4%, and the maximum of three risk scores for 50.6%. Linked secondary care data revealed primary care under-recording of hospital exacerbations, which translated to a slight, non-significant cohort average risk score reduction, and an understated risk group allocation for less than 1% of patients. Algorithmic calculation of the DOSE index is possible using primary care data, and appears robust to the absence of linked secondary care data, if unavailable. The DOSE index appears a simple and practical means of incorporating risk stratification into the routine primary care of COPD patients, but further research is needed to evaluate its clinical utility in this setting. Although secondary analysis of routinely collected primary care data could benefit clinicians, patients and the health system, standardised data collection and improved data quality and completeness are also needed.

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