The NTRR uses common data elements (CDEs) to improve data quality and opportunities for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies. To identify the initial CDEs, a review of data elements from more than 20 large trauma study data dictionaries (including PROOVIT, PROMMT, ROC and METRC) and the NIH Common Data Element Resource Portal was conducted.
More than 500 data elements from 20 trauma-related research data dictionaries were reviewed to identify the most frequently used CDEs in trauma research. These are organized into the following phase of care modules: Core and study metadata (submitted by all studies), Prehospital, Inpatient, Rehabilitation, and Outcomes/Quality of Life. Studies contributing data to the NTRR are categorized to the appropriate phase of care module. Importantly, NTRR’s data structure allows researchers to add unique data elements (UDEs) to the data dictionary for their study and use by other researchers. This will further promote data harmonization across trauma studies.