Services & Data Requests - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Data Do You Collect?
PHC4 collects inpatient discharge records from Pennsylvania hospitals and ambulatory/outpatient records from Pennsylvania hospitals and freestanding surgery centers. The ambulatory/outpatient data consists of select procedures such as surgeries, endoscopies, chemotherapies, and certain cardiovascular procedures. These data are collected on a quarterly basis.
Who Do You Collect Data From?
PHC4 collects inpatient data from general acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term acute care Pennsylvania hospitals. Ambulatory/outpatient data is collected from freestanding Pennsylvania ambulatory surgery centers and hospital-based surgical units.
Do You Check the Data for Inaccuracies?
Yes, PHC4 edits the data and provides error reports to each data source for them to rectify. The accuracy of the data is reliant on the response of the data sources.
Who Are Common Users of the Data and What Do They Use it For?
Hospitals and health systems request data for internal quality assurance activity, planning, product development, price setting and market share analysis. Researchers have used the data to support such studies as those of trauma system structure and performance, community health assessment, injury incidence, and even litigation in civil cases. Government requests include the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and individual members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Government projects use PHC4 data for community health assessment studies, public policy, and intervention and prevention programs.
What is Included in the Data Files?
There are over 70 fields of data available. Some examples of these include clinical information such as Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) and Major Diagnostic Categories (MDCs) in our inpatient discharge database, as well as admission source and type, diagnosis and procedure codes, and discharge status. Length of stay, hospital charges, patient origin information are also available in the databases.
What is a Standard Request?
A standard data request is a request that is selecting from one of the PHC4 pre-programmed standard “ready-to-use” data sets, which are listed on the application. These standard files have a set price and do not require further programming other than copying the data onto a CD.
What is a Custom Request?
A custom request is a request that selects a subset of data from the standard databases based on the customer’s specifications. An example of a custom request is one in which the customer wants data for all cases of diabetes in Schuylkill County or a report of the incidence of breast surgery in region 1. These types of requests must be created and customized by PHC4 statisticians.
What is the Difference Between a Data Set and a Data Report?
Data sets are patient-level records in a file. Data sets are purchased from customers who plan to conduct their own analysis using the data for further research. Data reports are aggregated summations of the patient-level records.