Whew! What a crazy spring! For me, at least, it involved learning an entirely new job and making a transition from a training focused on communicable disease to a professional role in violence and injury prevention. That was wild! I’m glad it’s over and glad to have done it!
Now it’s camping season for me and, if you’re a member of one of the CFPS review teams, it’s the start of crunch time for you! Remembering that the deadline for the completion of your reviews for 2015 cases is January 1st, 2017, I thought I’d take a moment to share a message with you regarding data entry. (If you haven’t figured it out, you’ll be doing this a lot in the next few months! We still have about 1/3 of all assigned cases that don’t yet have a case number in the National Center Case Reporting System.)
For this edition of the data corner, I wanted to reflect on a piece of information that piqued my interest from the recent data quality webinar the National Center hosted. Missing and unknown information is a distinction epidemiologists and data nerds alike can spend hours bickering like old friends over and still fail to reach consensus on. During the data quality webinar, Dr. Schnitzer indicated that unknown data is information that teams discussed and for which the correct response to the question was not known or not available. Missing information, on the other hand, is information which occurs because the question was skipped or not discussed during the meeting. A simpler guiding principle is “if you looked for it and can’t find the answer then the response is unknown.” If you didn’t look for it or skipped the question, then the response should be left blank.