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Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)

Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)

What is the NEDS?

The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) is part of the family of databases and software tools developed for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The NEDS produces national estimates about emergency department visits across the country. The NEDS describes emergency department visits, regardless of whether they result in admission. One of the most distinctive features of the NEDS is its large sample size, which allows for analysis across hospital types and the study of relatively uncommon disorders and procedures.

Advance Your Research

Apply more than 100 clinical and nonclinical variables to your research, including:
  • Primary and secondary diagnoses and procedures
  • Patient demographic characteristics such as age, sex, urban-rural designation of residence
  • Hospital characteristics such as region, trauma center indicator, ownership
  • Total charges
  • Expected payer
  • Admission and discharge status
Address Critical Topics

Rely on the NEDS to study national emergency department issues, including: 
  • Use of emergency department services and associated charges
  • Medical treatment effectiveness
  • Quality of emergency department care
  • Impact of health policy changes
  • Access to care
  • Variations in medical practice
  • Utilization of health services by special populations
A Comprehensive, User-Friendly Resource

The NEDS provides national estimates for more than 135 million hospital-owned emergency department visits in the United States, making it an exceptional resource for conducting research on high-profile emergency health delivery issues.  Available annually since 2006, NEDS data are standardized across years to facilitate ease of use. 

Expand Your Analyses
    Use HCUP Tools. Free tools and software are available to estimate hospital costs, assess quality of care, and identify comorbidities. Most tools also can be used with other administrative health care databases.

    Make the Most of Your Research. HCUP Supplemental Files enhance applicable HCUP databases with additional data elements or analytically useful information. They cannot be used with other administrative databases.

    Explore NEDS Data. HCUPnet ( is a free online query system that can provide you with instant access to health care statistics from HCUP databases, including the NEDS.
Easy to Purchase

HCUP's Nationwide Databases are available for purchase from the online HCUP Central Distributor: The HCUP Central Distributor is the entity that accepts, processes, and fulfills applications for the purchase and use of HCUP databases.

The NEDS is provided in ASCII format via secure digital download from the online HCUP Central Distributor. A statistical software package, such as SAS®, SPSS®, or Stata®, is required for analysis. Programs to load data into software packages are provided.

For a list of prices (including discounted student rates) and complete purchasing information, visit the HCUP-US website: This site also provides access to aggregate statistics from the NEDS through the free online query resource known as HCUPnet, and it contains detailed information about the Data Use Agreement, data elements, and software tools.

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced "H-Cup") is a family of powerful health care databases, software tools, and products for advancing research. Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HCUP includes the largest all-payer, encounter-level collection of longitudinal health care data (inpatient, ambulatory surgery, and emergency department) in the United States, beginning in 1988.

HCUP is a Federal-State-Industry Partnership that brings together the data collection efforts of many organizations — such as State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal Government — to create a national information resource. HCUP would not be possible without the contributions of data collection Partners from across the nation.

For more information about HCUP, please visit

Internet Citation: Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). May 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 5/17/18