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HCUP State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD)

Key web links

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Availability and description of data elements, sampling frame, methods

Detailed review of SEDD data and data access procedures:

Online overview of all HCUP databases

Dataset Summary

The State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) are one in a family of databases and software tools developed as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).  The SEDD contain the universe of discharge information on all patients in participating States who were seen in a hospital-affiliated emergency department without being admitted to the hospital (patients admitted to the hospital are captured in the HCUP State Inpatient Databases, described elsewhere in this compendium). The SEDD standardizes data fields across States, thereby facilitating across- and between-State analyses.  Data collected by the SEDD include patient demographics, diagnoses, procedures, insurance and billing information, and more.  The SEDD can be linked to the American Hospital Association Annual Survey File and the Area Resource File, except in those States that do not allow the release of hospital identifiers (these other databases are described elsewhere in this compendium).  Data can be accessed after completion of a Data Use Agreement, online training, and application kit.  The SEDD range in price from $35 to more than $3000 per State per year, depending on the State.

Expert comments
The SEDD is well suited for research that requires complete enumeration of treat-and-release encounters occurring in hospital-based emergency departments within market areas or a particular State. Researchers and policymakers can use the SEDD to conduct market area research or small area variation analyses, examine State-specific trends in emergency department utilization, access, charges, and outcomes, and identify patterns of care for patients.  In conjunction with the SID, the SEDD can be used to obtain a complete view of all medical encounters originating in emergency departments.

Dataset Details


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), under the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

Study and sample characteristics

The State Emergency Department Databases are State-specific files that contain discharge information on all emergency department visits that do not result in an admission. The SEDD are released on an annual basis, and are available beginning in 1999 through the present.

Participating States and number of discharges per State year are listed below.

For a full list of participating states, see page 6 of:

Major foci

The State Emergency Department Databases include data in the following areas.  The completeness and composition of data files varies between States.

• All-listed diagnoses
• All-listed procedures (e.g., skin sutures, splints)
• Patient demographics (e.g., gender, age, and, for some States, race)
• Expected payment source
• Total charges


The SEDD data files include information on diagnosis and procedures groups designed to facilitate analyses.

Detailed lists of data elements can be found by year at:

See also:

 Special supplements and resources 

The HCUP Supplemental Files for Revisit Analyses are discharge-level files designed to facilitate analyses that need to track sequential visits for a patient within in a state and across facilities and hospitals settings (inpatient, emergency department, ambulatory surgery) while adhering to strict privacy guidelines.

Links to other datasets

The SEDD can be linked to the American Hospital Association Annual Survey File and the Area Resource File, except in those States that do not allow the release of hospital identifiers. Information on linking to AHA Annual Survey files provided at:

Papers published

Click here for a PubMed search for articles using this dataset. 

For a complete list of publications from the HCUP databases, see

Publications may be searched by database at

Examples of papers published using SEDD include:

Acute care utilization and rehospitalizations for sickle cell disease.
Brousseau DC, Owens PL, Mosso AL, Panepinto JA, Steiner CA.
JAMA. 2010 Apr 7;303(13):1288-94.

Use of emergency departments for conditions related to poor oral healthcare: implications for rural and low-resource urban areas for three states.
Shortridge EF, Moore JR.
J Public Health Manag Pract. 2009 May-Jun;15(3):238-45.

Annual report on health care for children and youth in the United States: focus on injury-related emergency department utilization and expenditures.
Owens PL, Zodet MW, Berdahl T, Dougherty D, McCormick MC, Simpson LA.
Ambul Pediatr. 2008 Jul-Aug;8(4):219-240.e17.

Dataset accessibility and cost

Data are deidentified and available for purchase after completion of a data use agreement, HCUP online training, and SEDD Application Kit.  Data are priced per State per year, with costs ranging from $35 to over $3000 per State per year (varying in part whether the investigator is a student, non-profit institution, or for-profit entity).  The investigator can select which States and which years she would like to purchase.  Prices are listed in the application kit.

Application kit
Note:  pricing structures for several HCUP databases are listed in the same application kit document; be sure to consult the correct table

HCUP Data Use Agreement

Help Desk

Additional support can obtained via
• e-mail: • Phone (toll free): 1-866-290-HCUP
See: for details.

Request a consultation (SGIM members only)
Members of SGIM may request a one-time consultation with an expert in this dataset, for example to explore research ideas or to troubleshoot a problem or vexing question. Please click here for guidelines and the request process