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National Hospital Discharge Survey Data Collection and Processing

Two data collection procedures are used for the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS). One is a manual system in which sample selection and transcription of information from the hospital records to abstract forms are performed by the hospital’s staff or by staff of the U.S. Bureau of the Census on behalf of NCHS. The other data collection procedure is an automated system in which NCHS purchases computer files containing electronic data files from commercial organizations, State data systems, hospitals, or hospital associations. Records from these files are systematically sampled by NCHS. Approximately 45 percent of the respondent hospitals provide data through the automated system. A detailed description of the design and development of the NHDS is included in "Design and Operation of the National Hospital Discharge Survey: 1988 Redesign" [PDF - 1.3 MB], Vital and Health Statistics Series 1, Number 39.