National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS)

Topic/focus: Healthcare Facilities and Services
Year(s): 1996 - 2010 (online, other years available)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Study and sample characteristics: Medical records
Universe: Discharges from non-Federal, short-stay hospitals
Variables: Varies by year (45 in 2010)
Access: Publically available
Cost: Free
Key web links: National Hospital Discharge Survey
Primary Institutional Contact: EDRC Coordinator (

Summary: The NHDS is a continuous nationwide survey of inpatient utilization of short-stay hospitals. NHDS data are abstracted from medical records and include age, sex, race, marital status, expected source of payment, discharge status, admission and discharge dates, and length of stay for discharged patients. Hospital characteristics included region of the country, bed size, and type of ownership. Includes up to seven diagnoses and up to four procedures.