Known Data Issues

2005 Hospital Discharge and ER Data:

Note that figures by race primarily for residents of Appling county are invalid due to Appling Healthcare System race reporting.

2008 Death Data:

Due to collection and processing issues that were beyond our control, there may be some mis-match between cause of death and demographics.

All Years Death Data:

Hispanic Ethnicity is most likely under-reported on the death certificate. Several studies conducted in different states indicate that there may be under-reporting of Hispanic ethnicity on death certificates. A cursory review of linked Georgia data shows a 35% decrease from Hispanic-at-birth to Non-Hispanic at death, and a 25% decrease from Hispanic-mother-during-delivery to Non-Hispanic at death.

2009 Hospital Discharge and ER Data:

If querying all "External Causes" or the subcategory "Falls" within the External Causes category, there is an undercount in these events in Discharge data for year 2009 only. This undercount primarily affects residents of DeKalb, Fulton, and Cobb counties, and is most pronounced in ages 0-19.

2012 Hospital Discharge and ER Data:

Please note that Hart County Hospital closed July 1, 2012 but did not report any data for 2012. Numbers may be artificially deflated for Hart and surrounding counties.

2013 Hospital Discharge and ER Data:

Candler County experienced a significant drop in Hospital Discharges due to non-reporting. Residents of Bulloch, Evans, Emanuel and Tattnall counties were also slightly affected.

"Mental and Behavioral Disorders" were underreported primarily for residents of Clayton and Spalding counties. Residents of Fulton, DeKalb, and Fayette were affected to a lesser degree.

2015 Hospital Discharge and ER data:

On 10/1/15, diagnosis codes switched from ICD9 to ICD10-CM. The majority of cause categories stayed in trend, however some did not. Suffocation, Influenza, Bronchitis, and Asthma saw decreases. Disorders Related to Drug Use (under Mental and Behavioral Disorders) and All Other Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease saw increases. These changes could be 1) real and/or 2) reflect true differences in coding between ICD9 and ICD10, and/or 3) reflect difficulty in adoption of reporting ICD10-CM codes.

If querying all "External Causes" or certain subcategories within the External Causes category, there is an undercount of Hospital Discharges/ER Visits for year 2015 only. This undercount primarily affects residents of DeKalb, Fulton, and Cobb counties, and is most pronounced in ages 0-19.

2016 Hospital Discharge and ER data:

Effective October 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services required health care organizations and providers to use the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) to code medical encounters in the hospital and emergency department settings. This transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM caused the data for certain categories to require additional processing, or appear to be out of trend. Please see the Definitions page for further detail.