National Hospital Discharge Survey 2001 : public use data file documentation
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National Hospital Discharge Survey 2001 : public use data file documentation

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      This document provides information for users of the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) Public Use Data File for 2001. The NHDS is con- ducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and is a principal source of information on inpatient hospital utilization in the United States.

      Section I describes the survey and includes infor- mation on the history and scope of the NHDS; the methodology, including data collection and medical coding procedures; population estimates; mea- surement errors and sampling errors.

      Section II provides technical details about the file.

      Section III provides a detailed description of the contents of each data record.

      Appendix A defines certain terms used in this document; Appendix B lists the ICD-9-CM Ad- denda; Appendix C provides population estimates to allow for the calculation of rates; Appendix D provides unweighted and weighted frequencies for selected variables; and Appendix E includes a copy of the NHDS Medical Abstract Form.

      Introduction. This document and its appendices contain information for users of the 2001 National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) public use data file. Conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics, NHDS collects medical and demographic information from a sample of discharge records selected from a national sample of non-Federal, short-stay hospitals. The data serve as a basis for calculating statistics on hospital inpatient utilization in the United States. For a brief description of the survey design and data collection procedures, see below. For a more detailed description of the survey design, data collection procedures, and the estimation process, see Reference 1. Publications based on the data for each survey year can be obtained from the NCHS website at: .

      History. To provide more complete and precise information on the utilization of the Nation's hospitals and on the nature and treatment of illness among the hospitalized population, in 1962 the NCHS began exploring possibilities for surveying morbidity in hospitals. A national advisory group

      was established. The NCHS conducted planning discussions with other officials of the Public Health Service. Hospitalization material from the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan, the American Hospital Association, and the Professional Activities Study was examined and evaluated. In 1963, a study by the School of Public Health of the University of Pittsburgh under contract to the NCHS demonstrated the feasibility of an NHDS type of program. An additional pilot study using enumerators from the Bureau of the Census was conducted in late 1964 and confirmed the University of Pittsburgh's findings.

      Finally, with advice and support from the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, individual experts, other professional groups, and officials of the U.S. Public Health Service, the NCHS initiated the National Hospital Discharge Survey in 1964.


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