Data Domains

Below is a list of current domains in the PEDSnet Database

Domain Descriptions

The Demographics Domain contains demographic data at the person-level for all patients in the PEDSnet database. Example variables include age, date of birth, gestational age, sex, ethnicity, race, zip code, PEDSnet health system site, primary care provider (PCP), death and cause of death (if available), and tobacco use. Demographic data is a key element in all clinical health research and used to measure exposures, health determinants, confounders, mediators, effect modifiers, and health outcomes (e.g., death or cause of death). Researchers can also geocode zip codes and health system sites and study the link between environmental factors and health outcomes.

The Outpatient Encounters Domain captures all outpatient encounters for patients in our database who attend a site-affiliated office or institution. The PEDSnet database identifies ~75 different visit specialty types. Examples of specialty visits include primary care offices, specialty clinics (e.g., cardiology, endocrinology, nephrology, oncology, etc), development and behavioral appointments (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology), and other miscellaneous visits (e.g., medical genetics/genomics). The Outpatient Encounters Domain provides researchers with longitudinal follow-up and duration of a patient’s clinical course of care as well as health care utilization measures. Information in this domain includes dates of service, diagnoses, procedures, and information about physician and location specialty.

Similar to the Outpatient Encounters Domain, the Inpatient Encounters Domain encompasses all inpatient encounters for patients in our database who attend a PEDSnet site-affiliated hospital. Examples of data included in this domain are length of stay and discharge status, and all diagnoses, procedures, medications, and lab results linked to a unique inpatient visit. This domain is of high utility to researchers. Inpatient medical encounters can serve as measures for healthcare utilization and studied by disease type (e.g., oncology patients) or patient profile (e.g., patients in geographic locations or age groups). The Inpatient Encounters Domain also provides researchers with longitudinal data to evaluate disease course and severity of illness. The application of this domain can extend to almost any type of epidemiologic or clinical health study.

Analogous to the Outpatient Encounters Domain and the Inpatient Encounters Domain, the Emergency Department Encounters Domain consists of all diagnoses, procedures, medications, and labs associated with an ED visit. Similar measures of health care utilization and clinical course of care can be applied to this domain. Additionally, we can readily identify emergency visit encounters that result in inpatient admissions in the PEDSnet database.

The Anthropometrics Domain contains patient-level information regarding height (cm) and weight (kg) and head circumference. This domain serves a similar function as the Vital Signs Domain, which encompasses all temperature and blood pressure measurements for patients in the PEDSnet database. Together, these domains provide researchers with data for outcomes and health determinants in a study, as well as for confounders, mediators, and effect modifiers in statistical analyses. The variables in these two domains serve as markers of general health status.

The Providers Domains encompasses person-level information for any health care professional who provides care for patients enrolled in the PEDSnet database. This domain contains information regarding provider specialty as well as associated health care facility. The data can serve a variety of functions in health care research, such as examining the differences and similarities in the clinical course of care between patients seen primarily by their primary care doctors versus those seen by specialty care physicians. It also provides the ability to flag visits and profile patient characteristics based on specialty care. There are currently > 120 unique physician specialty types encompassed in the database.

The Diagnoses Domain encompasses all diagnostic information for patients in the database (>32,000 unique conditions captured). Final diagnoses are recorded at each encounter and mapped to a standardized code, typically SNOMED-CT.  Because diagnostic codes are captured at every encounter, this domain provides researchers with the unique ability to longitudinally assess the duration of a patient’s illness. Almost all health care research hinges on the ability to accurately assess patient diagnoses and duration of illness. The diagnoses domain provides researchers with the ability to define and construct cohorts and outcomes of interest as well as accurately assess comorbidities. Because of its size and the high number of patients enrolled in our database, studies will be sufficiently powered to study rare diseases (e.g., oncology, sickle cell disease, etc) where other databases are too small to provide meaningful data.

The Procedures Domain contains data for all procedures performed on a patient enrolled in the PEDSnet database (>12,500 procedures captured). Similar to the diagnoses, procedures are recorded at each encounter and are mapped to standardized codes, which include SNOMED-CT, ICD-9 procedures, ICD-10 procedures, CPT-4, and HCPCS codes. Procedures are a useful measure for researchers and are often used in conjunction with diagnostic codes to improve case-finding accuracy and provide more detailed clinical data. It can also be used as a proxy for disease severity or clinical indications.

The PEDSnet database differentiates between the Prescribed Medications Domain and the Dispensed Medications Domain. Both domains capture recorded medications for a given encounter and map to a standardized RxNorm code. However, the dispensed medications domain provides more accurate information about the drugs that the patient actually received and can therefore more accurately assess a patient’s medication record and disease control status. Both domains are vital in the conduct of epidemiologic research and are often used to construct a cohort of interest, assess disease status, define a patient’s clinical course and health behaviors, and measure outcomes of interest.

The Laboratory Test Results Domain contains the orders and results for more than 400 laboratory tests. Examples include key components of a lipid panel, complete metabolic panel, complete blood counts, microbiologic cultures, liver function tests, urinalyses, viral panels, etc. This domain identifies more precise clinical outcomes and health determinants for patients. Researchers can evaluate and define disease progression more easily and measure and define disease status, severity, and control.

The Visit Payer Domain provides plan class (private/commercial, Medicaid/sCHIP, Medicare, other public, self-pay, other/unknown) and plan type (HMO, PPO, POS, fee-for-service, other/unkown) for every unique visit in the database. Researchers can use this domain to study the effect of payer visit type with health (and other) outcomes of interest. Data in this domain can also be used during statistical analyses as confounders, mediators, or effect modifiers to the association of interest.