Background: Accurate data are critical for public health surveillance yet can be challenging to ensure. The Tennessee (TN) HPV Vaccine IMPACT Project aims to assess the effectiveness of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in prevention of cervical cancer and high-grade dysplasia through laboratory reporting of pathology results among Davidson County women. This project assessed feasibility and value of use of administrative sources for improved data quality and completeness of high-grade cervical events in TN HPV-IMPACT between 2013-2017.

Method: We queried three administrative data systems (Hospital Discharge Data System, Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center, and Tennessee Medicaid [TennCare]) for eligible women with cervical pre-cancer diagnostic and procedural codes from 2013 to 2017. We assessed data completeness from standard surveillance practices and from the addition of cases identified and verified through linkage with administrative data. Additionally, eligible women were linked to TennCare to inform missing demographic, insurance, and vaccination data elements.

Results: Overall, use of administrative data systems increased the number of women identified with cervical pre-cancer by 5% during the study years. Linkage to TennCare improved data completeness on race/ethnicity, insurance, and vaccination status by 10% to 20%.

Conclusion: Linkage with administrative databases is a feasible and effective method to improve public health data quality.

Keywords: audit, cervical dysplasia, HPV, data quality, public health, surveillance