Check out Why Participate in NHCS and How to Participate in NHCS pages!
The National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS) integrates data collected from the:
- National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS)
- National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS)
- Drug-Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)
NHCS describes national patterns of health care delivery in hospital-based settings, including inpatient departments, emergency departments (EDs), and outpatient departments (OPDs), including hospital-based ambulatory surgery. Additionally, NHCS collects patient-level identifiers that allow a patient’s episodes of care to be linked between different hospital inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as to outside databases such as the National Death Index, providing a more complete picture of patient care.
Data on patients and their care are collected from a sample of hospitals to provide national estimates of service use. These data enable health care decision makers, policy makers, and researchers to track the latest trends affecting hospitals and health care organizations, to study relationships between the organization and delivery of health care, and to benchmark hospitals against the national data. A sample of hospitals is currently being recruited for this survey.
Participating hospitals are asked to:
- Complete a short interview to assess survey eligibility.
- Provide data on all inpatient stays and ambulatory visits (ED and OPD) from their electronic health records (EHR), Uniform Bill (UB)-04 administrative claims data, or an electronic file in same format that is submitted to the state.
- Complete an annual questionnaire gathering data on hospital characteristics.
- Permit abstraction of clinical information on a sample of ambulatory visits. This only applies to hospitals that submit UB-04 claims, state file data, or those that do not provide all required EHR data elements.