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Data Source: Professional Organizations and Associations

2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

The National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) is a comprehensive national overview of quality of health care in the United States. It is organized around four dimensions of quality of care: effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, and patient centeredness.

American Hospital Association (AHA), Information Technology Supplement


American Hospital Association (AHA).


The AHA conducts an annual survey of all hospitals in the United States, including both registered and nonregistered hospitals. The focus is on four main areas, which include organization, facilities, community benefit, and utilization. In 2008, the AHA administered a supplemental information technology (IT) mail survey to gather information on the extent to which hospitals have fully functional health information systems, the characteristics of these systems, and the functions available and used by hospital staff.

Survey Sample Design

AHA-registered hospitals make up 98 percent of the surveyed hospitals, which means that hospital meets the AHA criteria for registration as a hospital facility. In 2008, there were 951,045 registered hospitals involved in the surveys. State and local associations, Medicare and Medicaid centers, national organizations, and government bodies help identify nonregistered hospitals, which helps to yield a high response rate. If data are missing, estimates are generated from the previous year's responses and from comparisons to hospitals of similar size and orientation. The reporting period is on a fiscal year basis.

Primary Survey Content

The AHA hospital survey reports current and historic data on utilization, personnel, revenue, expenses, managed care contracts, community health indicators, physician models, technology, electronic record systems, number of beds and admissions, and urban/rural status. The 2008 IT supplement queried hospital representatives about the adoption of electronic medical records and the scope of computer functions used by the facility.

Population Targeted

All hospitals in the United States.

Demographic Data

Combined with the core survey, information collected includes identifying information about the hospitals, organizational structure, facilities and services, utilization data, community orientation indicators, physician arrangements, managed care relationships, expenses, staffing, use of electronic medical records, and use of electronic systems for prescribing and sharing patient information across providers.

Family Evaluation of Hospice Care (FEHC) Survey


National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).


The FEHC survey is administered by participating hospices to family members of deceased hospice patients. The surveys are usually completed by paper and pencil and returned to the hospice program or a data vendor hired by the hospice to mail the surveys and compile results. A published version for telephone administration with an associated script is also available. Individual hospices electronically submit data to NHPCO via a Web-based submission system and vendors submit client data files on a quarterly schedule. NHPCO maintains a multiyear FEHC data repository.

Survey Sample Design

The FEHC is a postdeath survey that asks questions about families' perception of the care provided to the patient, as well as their own hospice experience.

Participation in the FEHC is entirely voluntary, although NHPCO encourages all hospices nationwide to take part. Hospices are asked to contact bereaved family members anywhere from 1 to 3 months after the patient's death to invite them to participate in the survey. The national average response rate during quarter 2 of 2009 was 38 percent.

Primary Survey Content

Among information gathered are caregivers' perceptions of the hospice's performance and patient's experience in the following areas: patient comfort and emotional support, coordination of care, decisionmaking, information sharing, respect for the patient, and emotional support to the family.

Demographic Data

Age, gender, race/ethnicity, and educational level of decedents and respondents.



Contact Information

Organization home page:


Connor SR, Teno J, Spence C, et al. Family Evaluation of Hospice Care: results from voluntary submission of data via website. J Pain Symptom Manage 2005 Jul;30:9-17.

National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)


Operation of the NCDB is jointly supported by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society (ACS).


The NCDB is a nationwide facility-based oncology database that annually captures 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States. The NCDB holds information on more than 26 million cases of reported cancer diagnoses since 1985 and continues to grow.

All CoC-accredited hospital cancer programs are annually required to submit data for all patients diagnosed or treated for a cancer diagnosis. More than 1,500 participating hospitals respond to a call for data, submitting case reports for a specified calendar year approximately 9 months after the calendar year.

CoC-accredited cancer program registries collect and submit data elements to the NCDB using nationally standardized data item and coding definitions. These are found in CoC's Facility Oncology Registry Data Standards (FORDS) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries' nationally standardized data transmission format specifications.

Primary Survey Content

The NCDB contains standardized data elements on patient demographics, patient insurance status, tumor site, stage and morphology, comorbidities, first course of treatment, disease recurrence, and survival information. In addition, the NCDB contains information on patient ZIP Code and county of residence, which is used to incorporate area-based sociodemographic characteristics. Selected characteristics of the reporting health care facility are also collected.

Population Targeted

Cancer patients in the United States.

Demographic Data

Gender, age at cancer diagnosis, and race/ethnicity.

Years Collected

Continuously since 1985.



Geographic Estimates

National; nine U.S. Census Bureau regions; metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.

Contact Information

NCDB home page:


Bilimoria KY, Stewart AK, Winchester DP, et al. The National Cancer Data Base: a powerful initiative to improve cancer care in America. Ann Surg Oncol 2008 Mar;15(3):683-90. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

Stewart AK, Bland KI, McGinnis LS, et al. Clinical highlights from the National Cancer Data Base. CA Cancer J Clin 2000;50:171-83.

Sylvester J, Blankenship C, Carter A, et al. Quality control: the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Standards, National Cancer Data Base, and Cancer Liaison Program. J Reg Mgmt 2000;27:68-74.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Data Source: Professional Organizations and Associations: 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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