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What are the national patterns of health care delivery in hospital-based settings?

Conducting the National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS)

The National Hospital Care Survey is tracking the latest trends affecting hospitals and health care organizations. It’s also tracking factors that influence

  • Use of health care resources
  • Quality of health care
  • Disparities in health care services provided to population subgroups in the U.S.

The National Center for Health Statistics tapped Westat to conduct the survey.

  • Westat recruited approximately 150 hospitals to participate.
  • Participating hospitals provide data on all inpatient encounters, as well as all patient visits to emergency departments and all other outpatient units.
  • Hospitals can provide data in the form of patient claims or from an excerpt of their electronic health record (EHR)system.
  • Claims and EHR data are sent to Westat via its secure transfer site or through the survey’s Health Information Service Provider (HISP), a secure email that hospitals use to send patient data.
  • Westat developed a highly scalable system to test, validate, and extract data from HL7 Continuity of Care documents.
  • Natural language processing has been used to combine provider mentions for a subset of the 35,500,000 payer names collected.
  • More than 81 million records were processed.
  • Data gathered will help provide accurate and reliable health care statistics that answer key questions of interest to health care and public health professionals, researchers, and health care policymakers.
  • These data will contribute to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Emergency Department Surveillance System (SEDSS).
  • Data will provide statistics on the nation’s opioid epidemic as well as other prescription and illicit drug use and abuse.

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