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Hospital Data Released by AHCPR
Press Release Date: August 17, 1995
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) today
announced the first release of
data from its new Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS Release 1)—a
powerful source of highly
detailed information on patient care and hospital performance in
U.S. community hospitals
between 1988 and 1992. These data have been translated into a
uniform format and are available
in CD-ROM and datatape versions. As a whole, NIS and its
companion State Inpatient Database
(SID) cover almost half of all hospital discharges in the Nation,
and can be used by a wide array
of researchers working in both the private and public sectors.
These two data bases were developed as part of AHCPR's Healthcare
Cost and Utilization Project
(HCUP-3) through a public-private partnership with State
governments and private-sector
organizations, such as the American Hospital Association and
State hospital associations.
AHCPR's main role is to provide the public with scientifically
sound information that can be used
to improve health care. HCUP-3 is a prime example of this," said
AHCPR Administrator Clifton
R. Gaus, Sc.D. According to Dr. Gaus, the data bases should prove
useful to an array of clients,
including hospital and nursing home chains, managed care
corporations, business coalitions,
hospital consultants, and labor unions. HCUP-3 data can be used,
for example, to study the use
and costs of hospital services, health care cost inflation, the
impact of proposed legislation on cost
containment, the effectiveness of medical treatments, diffusion
of medical technologies, and
medical practice variation.
To protect the privacy of such detailed information, the NIS
database excludes data elements that
could directly or indirectly identify individual patients or
physicians. Both NIS Release 1 and the
SID database contain patient-level variables included in a
typical hospital discharge abstract.
Users can link both databases directly to hospital-level data
from the Annual Survey of the
American Hospital Association. NIS Release 1 contains records for
all hospital stays from a
20-percent sample of community hospitals drawn from 11 States.
Each year of data contains five
to six million records and about 900 hospitals. More States and
years of data may be added later.
The SID database contains uniform data on inpatient stays in all
community hospitals in 12
States—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New
York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin—from 1988 to 1992.
Examples of studies where
SID data could prove useful include research on hospital market
areas, access to care, small-area
variations, and the effects of competition on hospital outcomes
SID data are available by purchase from the participating States.
NIS Release 1 is available by
purchase from the National Technical Information Service, 5285
Port Royal Road, Springfield,
VA 22161; phone: (703) 487-4650. For more information on both
databases, contact AHCPR's
Center for Delivery Systems Research by E-mail
NIS Release 1, which covers 1988 to 1992 and is available for
each year, comes in ASCII format
on a CD-ROM set ($300 for 5 years of data) or in EBCDIC or SAS
transport format datatapes
($800 per year of data).
For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855.