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State and Local Data Resources

Data available at the state and local level vary. Many states require mandated reporting of statewide data (e.g., criminal, death, EMS, hospital). Individual-level data may be available for analysis, however, there may be a fee to obtain the data. There may also be restrictions placed on how the data are used, and strict confidentiality rules must be followed to protect individual information. Many agencies/organizations may have Web-based data query or database systems available as well. This allows easy access to information, however, only aggregate-level data is generally available.

Data capture and definitions may differ widely by state or area.  For example, some states submit hospital discharge data voluntarily, and other states have mandated submission. As another example, Utah’s crash database only includes crashes with at least $1,000 property damage or at least one injury.

Caution signBe aware of restrictions or limitations that apply to any datasets you are using.

Your state's Department of Health is generally a good place to start for identifying statewide data sources. Data may be available from local agencies or institutions as well. See assessing available methods (surveys, record review, prospective data collection) for more information on how to develop your own data collection instrument when existing databases are not available to answer your particular question.

Other databases may be available through the following:

  • Bureau of EMS
  • Census state data center
  • Criminal Justice Statistics Association
  • Department of Health
  • Medicaid/Medicare databases
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Occupational injuries
  • Research centers and academic institutions
  • State Office of Legislative Research
  • Workers’ compensation records

The following is a chart of some helpful state/local data sources:

Data source

Description

Collected

Other Notes

Vital Statistics

Detailed demographic and event information for births and deaths.

All states

Generally accuracy of data is high.

Medical Examiner / Coroner Reports

More detailed information on most injury-related or unexpected deaths. Describe circumstantial data and detailed toxicology or autopsy results if available.

All states

Reports are often in narrative form. Information available varies by state/area.

Hospital Discharge Data

Contains diagnoses, charges, treatments, discharge status, and patient demographics for patients admitted to the hospital.

Most states (may not be statewide)

Generally derived from billing data. Quality of data varies. Repeat patient admissions can possibly skew injury incidence data.

Emergency Department Data

Contains diagnoses, charges, treatments, discharge status, and patient demographics for patients treated in the emergency department.

Some states (may not be statewide)

Generally derived from billing data. Quality of data varies. Repeat patient admissions can possibly skew injury incidence data.

EMS / Prehospital Data

Provides prehospital data on patient demographics, time, location, cause of injury, response time, and treatment procedures.

Most states (may not be uniform or statewide)

Run sheets completed and submitted by local EMS providers (e.g., fire, ambulance). Accuracy and detail of data varies.

Trauma Registry

Acute care hospitals collect and submit data to an identified repository. May duplicate EMS, ED, or inpatient data. Provides detailed info on a subset of trauma patients.

Some states

Criteria for inclusion in trauma registry and data definitions vary by state. Submission may be voluntary or mandated.

Motor Vehicle Data

Motor vehicle, police, and highway safety departments aggregate motor vehicle crash data. Data generally available on crash-, vehicle-, and individual-level variables.

All states

Crash reporting requirements vary by state.

Criminal Justice Data

Police and other justice agency data on homicide, assault, rape, suicide, and unattended deaths. Provide information on population at risk, weapons used, victim and offender demographics, and circumstances.

All states (in some form)

May be difficult to obtain data. Data may not be in electronic form in all locations.

Poison Control Centers

Track calls for help of information, poisoning exposures, and treatment. Provide poisoning exposure information and identify intervention priorities.

Most states

Limited to calls received and outcome data rarely available.

 

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rev. 29-Aug-2016

 

 

 

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