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Administrative Data Systems

7. Illustrations

Brown investigators are in the process of building a web site which will permit policy analysts and researchers to download data, thereby extending the availability of the information to a broader community of researchers.  The goal of this database, like that of the publicly available Dartmouth Atlas, is to permit analysts and researchers to directly query the data at a variety of different levels to address a policy-relevant issue or to make comparisons of groups of providers. Researchers will be able to obtain longitudinal, historical data at three different levels: 

State level data: policies, aggregated provider data, selected aggregated characteristics of the resident population and of the universe of nursing home admissions. 

Market level data: selected indicators from the Area Resource File, the Dartmouth Atlas and aggregated nursing home provider and resident level data. 

Provider level data: staffing, service availability, aggregated resident and admission population characteristics, and selected “outcomes” such as hospitalization, etc.  No data on any provider level parameter that has fewer than 11 observations in the numerator will be made available to limit identifiably.

Example 1: Use of Administrative Data

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is an on-line query system that provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization. Click on the following link, to access (HCUP) and create a set of data tables. As you do so, consider such questions as:

Do these data give you the rate of hospitalization in the population?

Would this database help you understand what is causing those admissions via the ED?

Additional information
To further explore the use of administrative data you can also view Dartmouth Atlas (level of data is hospital or region) to apply concepts presented in this chapter and determine how best to use administrative data.