This article describes the use of a modified Delphi method to determine the optimal minimum dataset (MDS) for full-body computed tomography scans of decedents whose deaths were investigated at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator and constitute the New Mexico Decedent Image Database (NMDID).
The consensus process was initiated by suggesting 50 original variables to elicit expert reactions. Experts were recruited from a variety of scientific disciplines and from around the world. Three rounds of variable selection showed high rates of consensus. A total of 59 variables were selected, only 52 percent of which the original resource authors selected. Using a snowball method, a second set of experts was recruited to validate the variables chosen in the design phase. During the validation phase, no variables were selected for deletion. The study concluded that the NMDID is likely to remain more “future proof” than if a single metadata expert or only the original team of investigators designed the metadata. (publisher abstract modified)