Background: Complete data on reported cases of STDs are necessary to describe the populations most impacted by morbidity and guide program activities. Many jurisdictions have begun using non-CDC data systems to input, manage and transmit data to CDC, which may impact data quality. We describe completeness of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary & secondary (P&S) syphilis 2012 case report data from 57 state and local jurisdictions.
Methods: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and P&S syphilis case report data for 2012 were analyzed for completeness, calculated as the proportion of cases with valid, non-missing values for selected variables (race/ethnicity, sex, and age). We examined potential differences in completeness by STD surveillance reporting system.
Results: Complete sex and age data were available for more than 99% of records for all three diseases. Race/ethnicity was available for 74.2% of chlamydia cases (range by jurisdiction: 43.0–100%), 80.8% of gonorrhea cases (range: 56.7-100%), and 97.4% of P&S cases (range: 75.0–100%). 32 of 57 areas used non-CDC surveillance data systems; 21 custom-built surveillance systems; 4 Maven; and, 7 PRISM. For chlamydia, the median completeness of race/ethnicity by project area was higher for Maven (79.9%), PRISM (78.6%), and custom systems (77.7%) than for CDC systems (71.8%). Similar patterns were seen for gonorrhea, though not for P&S syphilis, which had higher overall completeness. No association was seen between case volume and completeness. Differences by system type were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: The range of completeness of race/ethnicity in reported case data varied among jurisdictions. While we did not observe statistically significant differences in completeness by data system, efforts to develop generalized data quality solutions may be complicated by factors including local policies, resource levels, and diverse data systems.