Skip Navigation Bar

National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Provider Records
Health statistics are sometimes derived directly from provider records.

Distinctive Features
Provider records offer unique information for health indicators. they differ from other sources—such as population surveys—in important aspects.
  • A key difference is that provider records are usually organized to track events or transactions.
  • The population covered is defined by participation in provider based activity.
  • These records track episodes of service.
  • They feature information about presenting diagnoses and consequent procedures.
  • They often do not offer a comprehensive overview of health status.
  • By definition they are limited to patients or clients of the providers.

In sum the resulting estimates represent the population that uses the provider rather than all of the people living in a jurisdiction.