Performance Improvement 2004. Investigation of the Utility of Healthcare Costs and Utilization Project Data for Annual Surveillance of Hospitalized Injuries


The purpose of the surveillance program is to estimate the morbidity, mortality, and economic burden of specific types of injuries in the U.S. and to identify population subgroups in need of intervention. Although hospital discharge data have been collected in some states for many years, their use for public health surveillance has been limited primarily because of concerns about data quality and uniformity. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) has addressed several of these issues in its activities to construct the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). The specific objectives of this project were to: (1) assess the strengths and limitations of the NIS for conducting surveillance of hospitalized injuries, and (2) develop a computer program for routine analysis of hospital discharges for injuries from NIS. This analysis utilizes NIS data from 1997-1999. The major features of the NIS were described, including how it is constructed, and the characteristics of the individual data elements. An analytic data set for each study year was also created. Because of its very large size, increases in the number of states included, emphasis on quality and consistency of data, and improvements in timeliness of its availability, the NIS possesses several strengths for conducting annual surveillance of hospitalization injuries. This study found that the NIS is not based on a national probability sample of hospitals, making it impossible to truly draw statistical inference to the universe of hospitals in the nation. The study also found that a percentage of injury-related records that are E-coded varies considerably by geographic area.

PIC ID: 7999
Agency Sponsor: CDC-NCIPC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Federal Contact: Johnson, Renee, 770-488-1479
Performer: Battelle, Durham, NC

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