Print this Page

Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) Metadata


Originally developed in 1963, the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) captures administrative, clinical and demographic information on hospital discharges (including deaths, sign-outs and transfers). Some provinces and territories also use the DAD to capture day surgery.

Data extracted from the DAD is used to populate other CIHI databases, including

Find out more about acute inpatient care, including reports and analyses based on DAD data.

Data Source

Data is received directly from acute care facilities or from their respective health/regional authority or ministry/department of health. Facilities in all provinces and territories except Quebec are required to report.

Data from Quebec is submitted to CIHI directly by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec. This data is appended to the DAD to create the Hospital Morbidity Database (HMDB).

Data Coverage

Contains demographic, administrative and clinical data on all separations (with the exception of stillbirths and cadaveric donors) from acute inpatient facilities in all provinces and territories except Quebec.

See Data Source for information on Quebec.

Also includes demographic, administrative and clinical data on all patient separations from day surgery facilities in some provinces and territories.

Data Availability

Data is available for the following fiscal years on request:

  • Most recent year: 2013–2014 (As of August 6th, 2014)
  • Next release: 2014–2015 (August 2015)
  • Historical series: 1994–1995 to 2012-2013
  • Archive: 1979–1980 to 1993–1994

For data requests from 1994–1995, please complete a data request form.


As early as 2001–2002, some provinces and territories began using ICD‑10‑CA and CCI to code diagnoses and interventions in hospital separations reported to the DAD. Since 2004–2005, all DAD records have been reported in ICD‑10‑CA and CCI; prior to that, ICD‑9, CCP and ICD‑9-CM were used.

ICD‑10‑CA and CCI Documents

Historical Documents

Documents from 2001 to 2009 are available on request.

Data Elements

The DAD contains demographic, administrative and clinical data for

  • Hospital inpatient discharges; and
  • Day surgery interventions.

Below are links to data elements documents:

More detailed information on the DAD data elements can be found in the DAD Abstracting Manual.

Data Quality

CIHI ensures that the quality of the information in our data holdings is suited to its intended uses and that data users are provided with accurate information about data quality. Read more about our Data Quality Enhancement Program.

Below are links to data quality documents:

Open-Year Data Quality Test Specifications

Contact CIHI

Terms of Use © CIHI 1996–2014