Editorial Views  |   February 2018
Reporting of Observational Research in Anesthesiology: The Importance of Data Quality: Trust but Verify
Author Notes
  • From the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Corresponding article on page 293.
    Corresponding article on page 293.×
  • Accepted for publication September 7, 2017.
    Accepted for publication September 7, 2017.×
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Simpao: simpaoa@email.chop.edu
Article Information
Editorial Views / Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Quality Improvement
Editorial Views   |   February 2018
Reporting of Observational Research in Anesthesiology: The Importance of Data Quality: Trust but Verify
Anesthesiology 2 2018, Vol.128, 250-251. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002007
Anesthesiology 2 2018, Vol.128, 250-251. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002007
A NONINVASIVE blood pressure cuff is applied proximally to a pulse oximetry probe, causing the value of oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry to drop transiently with every cuff inflation cycle. Electrocautery causes the heart rate monitor to double with every buzzing zap. Anesthesia providers observe—and lament—vital sign artifacts such as these, whereas the anesthesia information management system (AIMS) dutifully stores the vital sign values that might later be used for research or quality improvement purposes. For these initiatives to be valid, they must be based on data of high quality—that is, data that are accurate, reliable, consistent, and meticulously collected and recorded.1  However, physiologic monitors routinely send artefactual data to AIMS.2  Failure to recognize or minimize these artifacts can negatively impact data quality and secondary uses of the data and potentially lead to inaccurate observations (“garbage in, garbage out”).3  Thus, verification of data quality is crucial and must be considered before proceeding with data analysis.4,5  In this issue of Anesthesiology, Hoorweg et al.6  present a novel prospective observational cohort study of the artefactual physiologic data in their locally developed AIMS. They collected their data in a pediatric population undergoing procedures with general anesthesia at a tertiary pediatric hospital.
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