National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2008 (ICPSR 30182)

Principal Investigator(s):


The 2008 National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) collects medical and demographic information annually from a sample of hospital discharge records. Variables include patients' demographic characteristics (sex, age, race, marital status), date of discharge, source and type of admission, status at discharge, final diagnoses, surgical and nonsurgical procedures, dates of surgeries, and sources of payment. Information on hospital characteristics such as bed size, ownership, and region of the country is also included. The medical information is coded using the INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES, 9TH REVISION, CLINICAL MODIFICATION (ICD-9-CM).

Series: National Hospital Discharge Survey Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


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Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2008. ICPSR30182-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-02-01.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   health care facilities, hospitalization, hospitals, illness, medical care, medical evaluation, medical procedures, medical records, patients

Smallest Geographic Unit:   region

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2008

Date of Collection:  

  • 2008

Unit of Observation:   patient discharges

Universe:   Patient discharges from nonfederal short-stay hospitals located in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Data Types:   administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Detailed information regarding ICD-9 codes can be found in the documentation.

Numeric recodes of the following variables were created: DX0 through DX8 (ICD-9-CM diagnosis variables) and PD1 through PD4 (ICD-9-CM procedure variables). Additionally, a recode of the variable AGE was performed which collapsed AGE into ten-year categories.


Sample:   In 2008, the sample consisted of 239 hospitals. Of the 239 hospitals, 1 was found to be out-of-scope (ineligible) because they went out of business or otherwise failed to meet the criteria for the NHDS universe. Of the 238 in-scope (eligible) hospitals, 207 hospitals responded to the survey.

Weight:   The data contain one weight variable, WEIGHT. To produce an estimate of the number of discharges, the weights for the desired records must be summed.

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts

Data Source:

hospital records

Response Rates:   Hospital response rate, unweighted: 87 percent. Hospital response rate, weighted: 79 percent.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: In preparing the data file for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. As an additional precaution NCHS requires, under Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m), that data collected by NCHS not be used for any purpose other than statistical analysis and reporting. NCHS further requires that analysts not use the data to learn the identity of any persons or establishments and that the director of NCHS be notified if any identities are inadvertently discovered. ICPSR member institutions and other users ordering data from ICPSR are expected to adhere to these restrictions.


Original ICPSR Release:  



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