Characteristics of the SAGE database: a new resource for research on outcomes in long-term care. SAGE (Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology) Study Group

TitleCharacteristics of the SAGE database: a new resource for research on outcomes in long-term care. SAGE (Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology) Study Group
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsBernabei R., Gambassi G., Lapane K., Sgadari A., Landi F., Gatsonis C., Lipsitz L., Mor V.
JournalJ Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
Date PublishedJan
Accession Number10026659
Keywords*Databases, *Long-Term Care/organization & administration/standards, *Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Diagnosis, Female, Frail Elderly, Geriatric Assessment, Heart Diseases/drug therapy, Hospitalization, Human, Information Systems, Male, Medicaid, Medical Records Systems, Computerized, Medicare, Metabolic Diseases/drug therapy, Nursing Homes/organization & administration/standards, Pharmaceutical Preparations/*administration & dosage, Polypharmacy, Process Assessment (Health Care), Quality of Health Care, Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., United States

BACKGROUND: Because there is a lack of databases specific to long-term care, standardized assessments of nursing home residents are seen as a potential new resource for studying an important but neglected population. We describe the design and principal population characteristics of the first integrated database combining detailed clinical information and administrative claims data. METHODS: We studied nearly 300,000 residents admitted between 1992 and 1994 to all Medicare/Medicaid certified nursing homes of five U.S. states (Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New York, and South Dakota). The database crosslinks: (a) Resident Data: over 350 items (demographic, diagnostic, clinical, and treatments) collected with the Minimum Data Set; (b) Drug Data: brand name, dosage route, and frequency of administration for all drugs consumed by each resident; (c) Medicare Data: eligibility and inpatient hospital claims; (d) Facilities Data: structural and staffing information on nursing homes; and (e) Country Data: information on population, health professions and facility data, and economic parameters. RESULTS: Ninety-two percent of the residents were aged 65 years and older. Residents were predominantly white (85%) and female (72%). The average number of medical diagnoses was above three, and residents were receiving an average of six medications. Sixty-five percent of residents had at least one hospital claim following the initial assessment, most commonly related to cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Fifty-five percent of the facilities were for-profit and 33% were of small size. Quality indicators and staffing level varied significantly by state. CONCLUSIONS: The SAGE (Systematic Assessment of Geriatric drug use via Epidemiology) database provides a unique resource to study the relation between treatments received and outcomes experienced, particularly functional and health services outcomes, that have not been possible before in very old, frail people.