Utilizing health data follow specific directions


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VIDEO: http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cDnhq9h8LK      ( copy it in URL)




Assignment— Utilizing Databases

Due:  Week 4, Day 7


There are numerous searchable databases that utilize information hospitals and physician offices have collected and reported via the various data sets (UHDDS, HEDIS, DEEDS, OASIS, MDS, etc).  In addition, there are registries that contain aggregate and in some cases, searchable information related to particular diseases.  These sites contain a wealth of information and statistics related to the health and wellness of our population as well as information related to quality issues.  The purpose of this assignment is to give you experience in obtaining information from some of these databases and registries.  View the short video for a basic introduction to using these databases.  Have fun playing with these databases.  Try some bizarre combinations to see what pops up.  It can be addictive!


  1. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.  https://hcupnet-archive.ahrq.gov/

  • H-cup is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  The data are used for research on hospital utilization, access, charges, quality and outcomes.

  • National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.  http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/reports/index

  • National Program of Cancer Registries.  http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr/tools.htm

  • You are to provide a report from each of these registries based on the guidelines below.


    1. Using the HCUP database, create a chart that shows the number of discharges, LOS, charges, and costs for all patients broken down by age (in categories) sex and insurance coverage.  Select two-way tables.  The video illustrated this on all patients discharged.  You are to select either a disease or a procedure, and run the same query on the nationwide database and two of the states.  Evaluate your findings.  Some things to consider are the similarities and differences between the two states, and between the states and the national averages; or between age groups or pay source.  Speculate on reasons for the differences.  If you were a policy maker in one of the states, what would you recommend to your lawmakers regarding your findings?


    For purposes of this assignment, you only need to review the first table.  I would recommend saving the results as an excel file so that I can see what you were reviewing.

    1. Using the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, go to the Data Query tab.  You will only be looking at national number for this database. Choose Access to Care as the subject area and Structural Access as the topic.  Scroll down the measures until you get to the measures dealing with people with insurance.  

    Select one of these measure that interest you.  Select “Over time” under view tables and graphics for this measure.  Click on “Get Data”. Click on the link that says “Excel—Open/Save File”. Review the information in the Excel document.  Notice that there is more information in this file than what was displayed on the initial query.  Comment on the findings—What questions does the data raise for you.  Can you make any predictions as to what the future holds for these patients?


    1. National Program of Cancer Registries:  For this database, click on “Interactive Cancer Atlas”.  This is a fun interactive graphic that displays the incidences of cancer by state ranking compared to the US overall.  You can do several things here, but you must use the “make comparison” option for your final display.  You only have to make one comparison chart.  You can compare the rates of male to female for certain types of cancer.  Or you can compare the rate of a particular type of cancer from 2012 with the same type of cancer in 2000.  It is up to you as to what you want to compare.  On the far left select the cancer you are interested in on the “site” tab.  

    Make some observations about your findings.  For example: why is the incidence different between men and women?  Has the incidence of cancer gotten better or worse over the years?  Why does one state have a higher incidence than another?  These are the types of questions you are to evaluate.                                 


    For this part of the assignment, you will have to send a screen shot.  The download function is not working properly.  Make sure that I can see you selections in the far left column so I can replicate your results.



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