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HERC’s DSS Discharge Dataset with Subtotals for Inpatient Categories of Care, Fiscal Year 2007
Yang J, Wagner TH. HERC’s DSS Discharge Dataset with Subtotals for Inpatient Categories of Care, Fiscal Year 2007. Menlo Park, CA: HERC; 2009 Jul 1. 20 p.
Decision Support System (DSS) maintains National Data Extracts (NDEs) that track cost and utilization for care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. Researchers can access these files, which are stored as SAS datasets on the VA mainframe in Austin, Texas.
The DSS Discharge (DISCH) NDE includes information on the entire span of an inpatient hospitalization. It provides the discharge bedsection (DBEDSECT), but does not have detailed information on other treating specialties in a stay. (The bedsection, also known as the treating specialty, is a two-digit code developed by VA to characterize the type of hospital care.)
If needed, a researcher must extract the information from the DSS Treating Specialty (TRT) NDE, which includes information on each treating specialty segment of an inpatient stay. To expedite this process, we created a new dataset beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2007 that is identical to the DSS DISCH NDE with the exception of additional fields containing cost and length of stay subtotals for each inpatient category of care (e.g., acute medicine, psychiatry, nursing home, etc.). The categories of care represent our groupings of common bedsections as reported in the TRT NDE.
This guidebook describes how we prepared the HERC DISCH dataset with cost and length of stay (LOS) subtotals for each inpatient category of care. Chapter 2 describes the methods we used to merge the DSS DISCH and TRT. In our comparison of the two files, we found that the vast majority of the records had equivalent total costs and lengths of stay. There were a handful of cases where this was not the case. Chapter 3 describes our methods for dealing with the small number of records with cost and length of stay differences between the DISCH and TRT, while Chapter 4 discusses important information regarding the use of the new discharge dataset.