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Overview of the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID)
The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) is a set of pediatric hospital inpatient databases included in the HCUP family. These databases are created by AHRQ through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.
 
 
The Kids' Inpatient Database

The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) is part of a family of databases and software tools developed for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). HCUP inpatient data are based on administrative data—discharge abstracts created by hospitals for billing. The KID is the largest publicly-available all-payer pediatric inpatient care database in the United States. Unweighted, it contains data from approximately 3 million pediatric discharges each year. Weighted, it estimates roughly 7 million hospitalizations.

Developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP data inform decisionmaking at the national, State, and community levels.

This page provides an overview of the KID. For more details, see KID Database Documentation and the Introduction to the KID, 2012 (PDF file, 424 KB; HTML).

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The KID yields national estimates of hospital inpatient stays for patients younger than 21 years of age. The unique design of the KID enables national and regional studies of common and rare pediatric conditions.

The KID can be used to identify, track, and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes.

KID data are available every three years from 1997 through 2012, which allows researchers to analyze trends over time. The number of States in the KID has grown from 22 in the first year (1997) to 44 in 2012.

Key features of the most recent KID database year (2012) include:
  • A sample of pediatric discharges from more than 4,100 U.S. community hospitals (defined as short-term, non-Federal, general and specialty hospitals, excluding hospital units of other institutions)
  • A large sample size, which enables analyses of rare conditions (e.g. congenital anomalies) as well as, uncommon treatments (e.g. cardiac surgery)
  • Charge information on all patients, including children covered by Medicaid, or private insurance, as well as those who are uninsured
Free HCUP Tools & Software are also available to identify preventable hospitalizations, estimate costs, assess quality of care and patient safety, categorize diagnoses and procedures, and identify comorbidities.

Information on the previous releases of the KID may be found in the Introduction to the KID (PDF file, 424 KB; HTML).
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The KID contains clinical and resource-use information that is included in a typical discharge abstract, with safeguards to protect the privacy of individual patients, physicians, and hospitals (as required by data sources). It contains more than 100 clinical and nonclinical data elements for each hospital stay, including:
  • Primary and secondary diagnoses and procedures
  • Discharge status
  • Patient demographics (e.g., sex, age, race, median income for ZIP Code)
  • Hospital characteristics (e.g., ownership, size, teaching status, Census region and division)
  • Expected payment source
  • Total charges
  • Length of stay
  • Severity and comorbidity measures
The 2012 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) incorporates changes to enhance confidentiality—the KID now eliminates State identifiers, unencrypted hospital identifiers, and other data elements that are not uniformly available across States.

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As a uniform, multi-State database, the KID promotes comparative studies of health care services and supports health care policy research on a variety of topics, including:
  • Utilization of health services by special populations
  • Hospital stays for rare conditions
  • Variations in medical practice
  • Health care cost inflation
  • Medical treatment effectiveness
  • Regional and national analyses
  • Quality of care
  • Impact of health policy changes
  • Access to care
The KID is used in a variety of publications:

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Spanning 15 years of data, the KID can be used for longitudinal analyses; however the database underwent changes in 2000. In order to facilitate analyis of trends including the 1997 KID, an alternate set of KID discharge weights for the 1997 HCUP KID were developed. These trend weights were calculated in the same way as the weights for the 2000 and later years of the KID. (Trend analyses for 2000 and later data do not need the KID trends weights.) The report, Using the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) to Estimate Trends, includes details regarding the KID trends weights and other recommendations for trends analysis. The KID trends report is available on the HCUP-US Web site at http://www.hcup-us.ahrg.gov/reports/methods/2007_02.pdf, and the KID trends weights are available on the HCUP-US Web site at https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/db/nation/kid/kidtrends.jsp
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The KID is released every 3 years, beginning with the 1997 data year; the most recent release is the 2012 KID. The databases are available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor.

Prior to purchasing HCUP data, all individuals are required to take the online HCUP Data Use Agreement Training Course, and users of the KID must read and sign the Data Use Agreement for Nationwide Databases (PDF file, 55 KB; HTML).

The KID are available for purchase online through the HCUP Central Distributor.

Questions regarding purchasing databases can be directed to the HCUP Central Distributor:

Email: HCUPDistributor@AHRQ.gov
Telephone: (866) 556-4287 (toll free)
Fax: (866) 792-5313 (toll free)

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The KID is distributed as fixed-width ASCII formatted data files compressed with SecureZIP® from PKWARE®. Beginning with the 2012 KID, the files are encrypted. To load and analyze the KID data on a computer, you will need the following:

  • A DVD drive
  • A hard drive with at least 10 gigabytes of space available
  • A third-party zip utility such as ZIP Reader, 7-Zip, or WinZip®
  • SAS®, SPSS®, Stata® or similar analysis software
The data set includes weights for producing national and regional estimates. KID documentation and tools, including programs for loading the ASCII file into SAS, SPSS, or Stata, are also available on the KID Database Documentation page. The KID Quick Start Guide, available on the KID DVD, contains instructions for loading the KID files.

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Internet Citation: HCUP Databases. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/kidoverview.jsp.
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Last modified 11/6/14