Looking for more information about using or accessing our data? We’ve provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
PHC4 collects inpatient discharge records from Pennsylvania hospitals and ambulatory/outpatient procedure records from Pennsylvania hospitals and freestanding surgery centers. The ambulatory/outpatient procedure data consists of select procedures such as surgeries, endoscopies, chemotherapies, and certain cardiovascular procedures. Data is collected on a quarterly basis. We also collect financial data supplied by each hospital and ambulatory surgery center on an annual basis.
We collect inpatient data from general acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and long-term acute care hospitals in Pennsylvania. Ambulatory/outpatient procedure data is collected from freestanding Pennsylvania ambulatory surgery centers and hospital-based surgical units.
Yes, the data is subjected to standard validation and editing processes by PHC4. Facilities are given the opportunity to correct their data as needed. The accuracy of the data is reliant on the response of the data sources. You can learn more about our methodology for validating data here.
Hospitals and health systems request data for internal quality assurance activity, planning, product development, price setting, and market share analysis. Researchers have used our data to study topics like trauma system structure and performance, community health assessment, injury incidence, and even litigation in civil cases. Government requesters include the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 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.
There are over 70 data fields available. Some examples include treatment information such as Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG’s) and Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC’s) in our inpatient discharge database, as well as admission source and type, diagnosis and procedure codes, and discharge status. Length of stay, hospital charges, and patient origin information are also available. Learn more about our available data here.
A standard data request allows you to select one of PHC4’s pre-programmed standard datasets. These standard files have a set price and do not require customized programming.
A custom data request allows you to request a subset of data from the standard databases based on your specifications. For example, you could request data for all diabetes-related hospitalizations in a particular Pennsylvania county or a report of the number of gall bladder surgeries in a specific region. These types of requests must be created and customized by PHC4 statisticians.
Datasets are patient-level records in a file. Datasets are a good option for researchers and organizations who plan to conduct their own analysis using the data. Data reports are aggregated summations of the patient-level records.