Enhanced Edited Inpatient Files

In 2005, the SPARCS edited inpatient record was enhanced to increase its utility and to further protect the identity of individuals. Those familiar with the previous UDS inpatient layout and description will find all of the previous fields intact and additional data elements present to increase the value of the file and facilitate analysis.

A number of data elements beyond the column 2000 of the inpatient record have been added. These contain important flags that signal to users the types of information contained in selected fields and to alert users to special data situations.

The way in which continuation records are identified has been changed (see Data Element 136-137). Continuation records are needed when the description of the services provided a patient during a hospitalization cannot be recorded on a single SPARCS record. Neglecting continuation records can undermine the validity of analyses. The use of this expanded inpatient record, coupled with the many revised field descriptions contained within the Data Dictionary, will result in more accurate interrogation of the Inpatient file's content as well as easier access to the file's information.

The Other Diagnosis "Emergent Indicator" remains on the data file but has been renamed "Present on Admission Indicator" to be consistent with national standards.

The type of SPARCS Inpatient data files available to users has also been modified. The "Inpatient Master File" (M) contains additional data elements and has been edited to meet legal requirements to provide further confidentiality protection. The Master file contains all data elements defined as "Identifying or Potentially Identifying". Identifying information and other data elements are suppressed for selected cases as part of the editing mandates (see Appendix Z). As in the past, all identifying data elements are deniable and require DPRB approval for access. Appendix V V V for this file's record layout.

The "Inpatient De-identified Master File" (DM) has the same format as the Master file but all identifying data elements have been redacted. All mandated edits of non-identifying data elements remain in effect. Access to the De-identified file requires written approval by the Bureau of Biometrics and Health Statistics (BBHS). See Appendix V V V for this file's record layout.

The "Inpatient De-identified Abbreviated File" (DA) contains a frequently requested subset of the De-identified Master file. Its smaller size reduces the computing resources needed for processing while its content simplifies use since it does not include those fields (ancillary, accommodation and non-acute care) which would require special handling caused by continuation/overflow records. Access to the De-identified Abbreviated file requires written approval by the BBHS. See Appendix V V V V for this file's record layout.

The data dictionary identifies which of the three above SPARCS files contain a particular data element.

Appendix M - Alphabetic Listing of Data Elements is available to assist users in locating a data element of interest.