Data Sources—Indian Health Service (IHS)

2009 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports

The National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) is a comprehensive national overview of quality of health care in the United States. It is organized around four dimensions of quality of care: effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, and patient centeredness.

National Patient Information Reporting System (NPIRS)


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service.


NPIRS is the national data repository for all IHS health care data on all patient registration and all visit encounters. NPIRS data are derived from various government and commercial health care information systems that are largely transaction-based systems used to support patient care. � The National Data Warehouse (NDW) is an upgraded version of NPIRS.

Primary Content

All registration records (all dates) and all encounter records (dated October 1, 2000, to the present). Registration tables contain patient information, including name, demographic data, medical chart data, aliases, and insurance eligibility data. Encounter tables contain encounter information, including location of treatment, clinic, provider, medications, and diagnosis codes.

Population Targeted

NPIRS collects data on approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 562 federally recognized tribes in 35 States.

Demographic Data

Age, gender, and Indian status.

Years Collected

1997 to present.



Geographic Estimates

National IHS service area estimates (Aberdeen, Alaska, Albuquerque, Bemidji, Billings, Nashville, Navajo, Oklahoma, Phoenix, and Tucson, excluding Portland and California service areas).


Since no IHS inpatient facilities are located in either the Portland or California service areas, hospitalizations from these regions are not present in the data; the denominator was correspondingly reduced.

Contact Information

Agency home page:


Current as of March 2010
Internet Citation: Data Sources—Indian Health Service (IHS): 2009 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. March 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.