Validity of ICD codes to identify do-not-resuscitate orders among older adults with heart failure: A single center study

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Background Observational research on the advance care planning (ACP) process is limited by a lack of easily accessible ACP variables in many large datasets. The objective of this study was to determine whether International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes for do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders are valid proxies for the presence of a DNR recorded in the electronic medical record (EMR). Methods We studied 5,016 patients over the age of 65 who were admitted to a large, mid-Atlantic medical center with a primary diagnosis of heart failure. DNR orders were identified in billing records from ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. DNR orders were also identified in the EMR by a manual search of physician notes. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated as well as measures of agreement and disagreement. In addition, estimates of associations with mortality and costs were calculated using the DNR documented in EMR and the DNR proxy identified in ICD codes. Results Relative to the gold standard of the EMR, DNR orders identified in ICD codes had an estimated sensitivity of 84.6%, specificity of 96.6%, positive predictive value of 90.5%, and negative predictive value of 94.3%. The estimated kappa statistic was 0.83, although McNemar’s test suggested there was some systematic disagreement between the DNR from ICD codes and the EMR. Conclusions ICD codes appear to provide a reasonable proxy for DNR orders among hospitalized older adults with heart failure. Further research is necessary to determine if billing codes can identify DNR orders in other populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0283045
JournalPloS one
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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