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AHRQ unveils Nation's first all-children's hospital care research database

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has announced the Nation's first database on the hospital inpatient care of America's children. The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) was developed to make national and regional estimates of children's treatment, including surgery and other procedures, and for estimating treatment outcomes and hospital charges.

The database includes information on the hospital care of pediatric patients from birth through age 18, regardless of whether they had insurance, public assistance, or were uninsured. The KID's large sample size enables researchers to analyze hospital care and charges for common conditions in children, such as respiratory diseases and injuries, as well as rare conditions, such as congenital abnormalities. The power of the database also enhances the ability to study infrequently used procedures, such as bone marrow biopsy and organ transplantation.

The KID contains information on the inpatient stays of about 1.9 million children at over 2,500 hospitals across the United States in 1997. Included is information on children's principal and secondary diagnoses, tests, surgeries and other procedures, length of stay, hospital charges, payment sources, and type of hospital.

For details on the KID, including costs and software requirements, contact the HCUP Central Distributor, Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., 7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1300, Bethesda, MD 20814-4805. For more information, call (866) 556-4287 or fax your questions to (301) 986-8051.

For those who want quick answers about the hospital care of children and other patients, AHRQ's HCUPnet now includes data from the KID. HCUPnet is an interactive, online service designed to help policymakers, administrators, analysts, educators and students obtain answers instantly to their questions about hospital care, outcomes, and charges. The tool's menu-driven format permits users to tailor queries to national or regional statistics. HCUPnet is available without charge on the AHRQ Web site at http://hcupnet.ahrq.gov/. Select "Start HCUPnet," and then click on "Hospital Stays for Children Only."

The KID and HCUPnet are part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a family of databases, Web-based products, and user-friendly software developed and maintained by AHRQ. HCUP is a Federal-State-industry partnership to build a standardized, multi-State health data system to facilitate health care research.

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