OHDSI Home | Forums | Wiki | Github

Records with observation period end date after death

Hi everyone,
I have a question related to a DQD check that involves the number of records in the observation_period table where the observation_period_end_date is more than 60 days after the death_date. I was wondering what is the convention in the community about these records. Is it better if they are discarded or kept in the CDM and what are the steps to be followed to prevent them affecting PLPs later down the line.

Thank you in advance.


Your data should cease 60 days after death. There is nothing more to observe, and even reports coming in late should have been all filed at that time. Everything after 60 days should be discarded. Alternatively, fix the death date. It really depends on the source data, and what information you trust more.

Dear @Christian_Reich, thank you very much for your reply.
We are actually trusting the death date more, because it is only very few records from each patient that have such extended end_date more than 60 days after death. Additionally, it is around 0.04% of the overall records that have this issue. I guess a follow-up question according to your suggestion would be, if we can actually do the opposite and fix the end dates of these records to be death_date+60-1.

Yes, you could. I would take a look of what that is. If it is just bureaucratic updates - you may as well just drop the records. If they are truly clinical events the date is clearly wrong (unless you have records from their afterlife), and then the question becomes what is the right date. Clinical events with no or objectionable dates need to be dropped. 90% of the OHDSI use cases depend on accurate dates.

That makes sense. Most of the records are actually Conditions that could look like necropsy results. That could happen if sometimes a pathology report from a necropsy could take more than 2 months to be registered, but there is also no way to prove that this is the case. However, there are also several Procedures that would not make any sense to occur after death. In conclusion, I believe that dropping the records is the best way to go as well. Thank you for your answers.