In reply: Innes and colleagues accuse us of overstating the potential inaccuracy of coded administrative data. They refer to state and national initiatives underway to ensure such accuracy, but offer no hard statistics that would reassure us that such data, in their current form, are as accurate as they need to be for purposes of quality monitoring and public disclosure. Until they do, we feel we have good reason to recommend caution in light of the few published Australian reports that are available (which we cited1,2), together with other research3 and feedback from clinical directors, about significant error rates when coded diagnoses are audited by clinicians or compared with independent datasets maintained by clinicians (Professor David Johnson, Director of Nephrology, and Dr Paul Garrahy, Director of Cardiology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, personal communication).
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