Apparently shipping cod any great distance is problematic. They arrive at their destination all mushy and grey from being sedentary for the journey. The solution is to add a few catfish into the mix--they keep the cod on their "toes" and improve the quality of the meat. This is one meaning of the term catphishing and I think it works in our data rich lives.
Picture the boring table or bar chart you inserted in your presentation. Yawn. Allow me to nibble at the edges a little bit and liven it up. Its a long trip--we might as well make the best of it. Let me share a few highlights of different types of data that can increase your data granularity--at the patient level.
FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS)
There are clients that prefer to assign a story or manuscript with a well-executed outline--all the topic sentences will follow from the design plan and the writer just puts flesh on the bones. Over the years I grew restless with these assignments. They seem more secretarial than strategic. Let's see what happens if we start looking at the data.
The FDA monitors safety concerns in all marketed products. If a concern is detected by FAERS further evaluation may include additional studies and maybe even regulatory action. The Sentinel System is an additional database that includes data from ~ 18 data partners (since I last checked). There are important trends aggregrated from data provided by Aetna, HealthCore, the HMO Research Network (6 sites), Humana, Kaiser Permanente (6 sites), Lovelace Clinic Foundation, OptumInsight, and Vanderbilt. Funded by the FDA, you can do your own statistical analysis or request information through the Freedom of Information Act.
There are charts available providing much needed context in the national conversation about the risks of intervention. We can no longer only echo media headlines touting advances in healthcare without acknowledging risks associated with care.
These data describe the outcome of the patient as defined in U.S. reporting regulations (21 CFR 310.305, 314.80, 314.98, 600.80) and Forms FDA 3500 and 3500A (the MedWatch forms). Serious means that one or more of the following outcomes were documented in the report: death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly and/or other serious outcome. Documenting one or more of these outcomes in a report does not necessarily mean that the suspect product(s) named in the report was the cause of these outcomes.
This level of data starts to add another dimension to any data query about a disease state or patient level outcome. Future posts will go under the hood and pull together this valuable data set with others.
Here is an aggregated graphic of laboratory results available in the Mini-Sentinel Distributed Database Summary Report. Specific findings of measures are also included and can be used to level-set discussions of ranges of laboratory findings by specific diseases.