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Overview of the State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD)
The SEDD are a set of longitudinal State-specific emergency department (ED) databases included in the HCUP family. These databases are created by AHRQ through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.
 
 
State Emergency Department Databases

The State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) are part of the family of databases and software tools developed for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The SEDD capture emergency visits at hospital-affiliated emergency departments (EDs) that do not result in hospitalization. Information about patients initially seen in the ED and then admitted to the hospital is included in the State Inpatient Databases (SID). The SEDD files include all patients, regardless of payer, providing a unique view of ED care in a State or in a defined market over time.

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

This page provides an overview of the SEDD. For more details, see SEDD Database Documentation and the Introduction to the SEDD (PDF file, 178 KB; HTML)

Contents:

The SEDD capture discharge information on all ED visits in a given State that do not result in an admission. States make their SEDD files available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor.

Thirty-one States currently participate in the SEDD:

  • The SEDD contain the ED encounter abstracts in participating States, translated into a uniform format to facilitate multi-State comparisons and analyses.
  • All of the databases include abstracts from hospital-affiliated ED sites. Composition and completeness of data files may vary from State to State.
  • The SEDD contain a core set of clinical and nonclinical information on all patients, including individuals covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, as well as those who are uninsured.
  • In addition to the core set of uniform data elements common to all SEDD, some State data include other elements, such as the patient's race.
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.

Additional information on the SEDD may be found in the Introduction to the SEDD (PDF file, 178 KB; HTML).
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The SEDD contain 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). The SEDD contain more than 100 clinical and non-clinical variables included in a hospital discharge abstract, such as:

  • All-listed diagnoses and procedures
  • Patient demographics characteristics (e.g., sex, age, and, for some States, race)
  • Expected payment source
  • Total charges
  • Hospital identifiers that permit linkage to hospital inpatient databases, such as the AHRQ-sponsored State Inpatient Databases (SID), and to the American Hospital Association Annual Survey File
Elements included in the SEDD are not always available for all States, including the hospital county identifiers or HCUP's Revisit Variables. Please see the Availability of Data Elements by Year.
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The SEDD combined with SID discharges that originate in the ED are well suited for research that requires complete enumeration of hospital-based EDs within market areas or States. The SEDD promote comparative studies of health care services and support health care policy research on a variety of topics, including:

  • Injury surveillance
  • Access to health care in a changing health care marketplace
  • Trends and correlations between ED use and environmental events
  • Emerging infections
  • Occurrence of nonfatal, preventable illness
  • Community assessment and planning
The SEDD are used in a variety of publications:

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SEDD releases for data years 1999 through 2011 are available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor. Costs vary by State and data year.

Prior to purchasing HCUP data, all individuals are required to take the online HCUP Data Use Agreement Training Course, and users of the SEDD must read and sign the Data Use Agreement for State Databases (PDF file, 49 KB; HTML).

Instructions for purchasing the SEDD are available in the State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) Application Kit (PDF file, 529 KB).

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

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

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The SEDD data set comes in ASCII format and can be run on desktop computers with a DVD drive. To load and analyze the SEDD, you will need the following:

  • A DVD drive
  • A hard drive with one to four gigabytes of space available, depending on the SID being used
  • SAS®, SPSS®, or similar analysis software
The data set comes with full documentation. SEDD documentation and tools, including programs for loading the ASCII file into SAS or SPSS, are also available on the SEDD Database Documentation page.

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Internet Citation: HCUP Databases. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). December 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov//seddoverview.jsp.
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Last modified 12/11/13