Comparison of Military Health System Data Repository and American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric

Arin L. Madenci, Cathaleen K. Madsen, Nicollette K. Kwon, Lindsey L. Wolf, Kristin A. Sonderman, Jill M. Zalieckas, Samuel E. Rice-Townsend, Adil H. Haider, Robert L. Ricca, Brent R. Weil, Christopher B. Weldon, Tracey P. Koehlmoos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Given the rarity of pediatric surgical disease, it is important to consider available large-scale data resources as a means to better study and understand relevant disease-processes and their treatments. The Military Health System Data Repository (MDR) includes claims-based information for > 3 million pediatric patients who are dependents of members and retirees of the United States Armed Services, but has not been externally validated. We hypothesized that demographics and selected outcome metrics would be similar between MDR and the previously validated American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-Pediatric (NSQIP-P) for several common pediatric surgical operations. Methods: We selected five commonly performed pediatric surgical operations: Appendectomy, pyeloplasty, pyloromyotomy, spinal arthrodesis for scoliosis, and facial reconstruction for cleft palate. Among children who underwent these operations, we compared demographics (age, sex, and race) and clinical outcomes (length of hospital stay [LOS] and mortality) in the MDR and NSQIP-P, including all available overlapping years (2012-2014). Results: Age, sex, and race were generally similar between the NSQIP-P and MDR. Specifically, these demographics were generally similar between the resources for appendectomy (NSQIP-P, n = 20,602 vs. MDR, n = 4363; median age 11 vs. 12 years; female 40% vs. 41%; white 75% vs. 84%), pyeloplasty (NSQIP-P, n = 786 vs. MDR, n = 112; median age 0.9 vs. 2 years; female 28% vs. 28%; white 71% vs. 80%), pyloromyotomy, (NSQIP-P, n = 3827 vs. MDR, n = 227; median age 34 vs. < 1 year, female 17% vs. 16%; white 76% vs. 89%), scoliosis surgery (NSQIP-P, n = 5743 vs. MDR, n = 95; median age 14.2 vs. 14 years; female 75% vs. 67%; white 72% vs. 75%), and cleft lip/palate repair (NSQIP-P, n = 6202 vs. MDR, n = 749; median age, 1 vs. 1 year; female 42% vs. 45%; white 69% vs. 84%). Length of stay and 30-day mortality were similar between resources. LOS and 30-day mortality were also similar between datasets. Conclusion: For the selected common pediatric surgical operations, patients included in the MDR were comparable to those included in the validated NSQIP-P. The MDR may comprise a valuable clinical outcomes research resource, especially for studying infrequent diseases with follow-up beyond the 30-day peri-operative period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number419
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • General surgery
  • Health services research
  • Pediatrics


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