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AHRQ announces availability of 1999 NIS data

The 1999 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database for 1999 and accompanying documentation are now available on CD-ROM from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The NIS is a component of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-industry partnership to build a standardized multi-State health data system and companion set of resources, which is maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

NIS data include more than 100 clinical and nonclinical variables, such as primary and secondary diagnoses, medical and surgical procedures, length of stay, discharge status, patient sex and race, median income of the patient's ZIP code, payment source, and hospital charges. Users can enhance the analytical power of the NIS by linking it with selected other databases, such as the Bureau of Health Professions' Area Resource File of the Health Resources and Services Administration and the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey of Hospitals. The 1999 NIS database is based on information from approximately 7 million inpatient stays at over 1,000 hospitals in 24 States spanning the country, including uninsured patients.

The NIS can be run on desktop computers and comes in ASCII format for ease of use with numerous off-the-shelf products, including SAS and SPSS. It also includes weights for producing national and regional estimates. The database comes with full documentation in Adobe Acrobat®. SAS and SPSS users are provided programs for converting ASCII programs.

The cost of the 1999 NIS database is $160; please use the accession number (PB2002-500020) to order the database from NTIS.

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