three <outside experts> from Guangzhou

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
I understand "outside experts" as "experts who are not among the authors of this original article." Am I on the right track?


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We obtained data regarding cases outside Hubei province from the National Health Commission. Because of the high workload of clinicians, three outside experts from Guangzhou performed raw data extraction at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, where many of the patients with Covid-19 in Wuhan were being treated.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2002032
 
  • manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I understand "outside experts" as "experts who are not among the authors of this original article." Am I on the right track?
    Based on this particular phrasing of "Because of the high workload of clinicians, three outside experts from Guangzhou performed...", I'd assume that these 3 people are from outside this particular medical environment in Wuhan. They might be doctors from Guangzhou or statisticians or whatever kind of expert can do the job - but they are certainly not clinicians from Wuhan.

    Doesn't it just mean that 3 experts from Guangzhou traveled to Wuhan?
    :thumbsup: But in this day and age of the internet and global connectivity, this raises the question why would they want to travel to Wuhan just to extract data?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    But in this day and age of the internet and global connectivity, this raises the question why would they want to travel to Wuhan just to extract data?
    Because before it gets on the internet somebody has to gather it and put it there. And the doctors actually treating the patients didn't have time for that sort of work. They were trying to save lives. So the outsiders without other responsibilities were brought in to go through patient charts and other records to consolidate the data in a useful form. It's hands-on work.

    From the paper:

    All medical records were copied and sent to the data-processing center in Guangzhou, under the coordination of the National Health Commission. A team of experienced respiratory clinicians reviewed and abstracted the data. Data were entered into a computerized database and cross-checked. If the core data were missing, requests for clarification were sent to the coordinators, who subsequently contacted the attending clinicians.​
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    From the paper:

    All medical records were copied and sent to the data-processing center in Guangzhou, under the coordination of the National Health Commission. A team of experienced respiratory clinicians reviewed and abstracted the data. Data were entered into a computerized database and cross-checked. If the core data were missing, requests for clarification were sent to the coordinators, who subsequently contacted the attending clinicians.​
    Yes, the process makes sense.
    But since they say "...were copied and sent to the data-processing center in Guangzhou...", it suggests that they haven't really "...performed raw data extraction at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital" but they extracted that data from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Three outside experts from Guangzhou performed raw data extraction at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, where many of the patients with Covid-19 in Wuhan were being treated.
    I just skimmed the paper in your link and I agree with kentix now.
    It seems those three experts did travel to Wuhan and they reviewed every single case for their study on site. Only after review they entered them into their computer system or they copied the charts and sent them to Guangzhou for further statistical processing.

    I guess by doing so they were standardizing all data based on their own criteria for the study. That's like "ironing out" diagnostic differences from one doctor to the next, which would undoubtedly exist considering the large number of cases and attending physicians.
    This standardization makes their own study more meaningful and more trustworthy by eliminating statistical outliers.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Are the outsider experts in the ranks of the authorship then?
    They didn't say. Your link only shows an outline or summary of the study, so it doesn't go into all the details. You'd have to read the actual study to find out.
    But it does suggest that those outside experts were doctors or professionals in the field of respiratory diseases. I guess they'd have to be considering the amount of reviewing they had to do.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    What you see will be the entire artilce if you have a membership.
    For Covid-19 is a global concern, so it is free.
    If you're interested, I will attach the pdf file here.
     
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