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Welcome to our brief introduction to CIHI Portal. CIHI Portal is a business intelligence tool that provides access to pan-Canadian, comparative, premium health data that can be viewed, analyzed, shared and used to answer some of today’s most pressing health care questions. 

CIHI Portal is available to Canada’s health care organizations, such as hospitals, regional health authorities and ministries of health, among others. It is a protected environment accessible to authorized users who have signed a service agreement. It includes acute inpatient, emergency, ambulatory, inpatient rehabilitation, financial, statistical, income decile/quintile, geography and population data. Historical data is available as well as data for the current fiscal year, updated monthly.  

Through Portal, you can 

  • Discover premium data from individual Canadian health care organizations 
  • Create your own data reports to answer the most pressing questions 
  • Decide on the best courses of action, guided by accurate, timely data 
  • Uncover ideas and insights from Portal’s community of professionals 
  • Compare your facility’s performance with that of peers and with current best practices 
  • Learn about how data works for you in CIHI’s online courses 
  • Effectively manage health care 

This demonstration of the tool will cover the following topics:

  • Creating reports/analysis
  • Running reports and using built-in templates 
  • Drilling to more detailed information, and
  • Reviewing examples of the tool’s population analysis, graphing and mapping capabilities 

We are now ready to explore some of the many features of CIHI Portal. Let's imagine that the ministry of health in one of the western provinces is interested in patients who are being treated for cataract surgery, which is CMG 51—Lens Extraction/Insertion. In particular, it is curious about which provinces’ patients are receiving treatment.

To begin our exploration, we will run the “Lens Extraction/Insertion” report. This report was created by another Portal analyst user. It displays both the facility provinces the patients were treated in as well as the provinces where they reside.

The “Page by” area of the report contains additional information about these hospitalizations. We can choose to look at data from fiscal year 2011–2012, from fiscal year 2012–2013, or both combined. Please note that all data is fictional and intended for educational purposes only. 

We can display different report metrics side by side, such as number of cases, average hospital distance, average age in years and average CMG+ RIW. 

In order to look specifically at patients who reside in one of the western provinces, we will need to filter on this attribute. Let’s say the ministry of health is interested in Alberta residents. As such, we can use View Filter and filter on the patient province/territory to restrict the view of our report to show data for Alberta only.  

Now, the report shows data limited to records associated with patients residing in Alberta.

Next, we can insert a transformation metric to quickly view where the majority of patients travelled to in order to receive care for lens extraction/insertion. We will add a Percent to Total Over Rows metric based on the existing cases sum metric.

Based on the percentages returned on our report grid, we can see that the majority of Alberta patients travelled to Saskatchewan to receive care.

Next, let’s say that the ministry of health is interested in why patients are being treated with lens extraction/insertion. In order to determine this, we can drill down in the data to the most responsible diagnosis. Drilling can be done by simply right-clicking on the attribute you want to drill from and selecting the appropriate attribute to drill to. 

In this case, we will select the ICD-10-CA Most Responsible Diagnosis code. Based on the preferences that have been chosen, our report will re-run to show more details.

Looking at the data, we can see that two of the most common diagnosis codes for lens extraction/insertion cases are unspecified cataract and retinal detachment with breaks, coded as H269 and H330, respectively. 

In addition to clinical data, CIHI Portal also contains Statistics Canada population data. 

Let’s say that the ministry of health is now interested in comparing which provinces have a higher rate of hospitalizations for unspecified cataract or retinal detachment and breaks after adjusting for age distribution of the different provinces. We can accomplish this by performing a standard rate analysis that tells us how many hospitalizations there are for H269 and H330 in each province in the country per 100,000 people. 

First, we will create a custom filter to define our population of interest. 

To identify hospital discharges with a most responsible diagnosis of unspecified cataract or retinal detachment and breaks, we will add the Most Responsible Diagnosis attribute in the filter area and select the relevant codes.

Now, we can save the filter in the appropriate folder to be used later for our standard rate analysis.

Next, we will navigate to the standard rate population analysis template to complete our analysis.

The Standard Rate Analysis Prompted Report contains prompts to be answered by the user. Some prompts are required and some are optional. This information is indicated in the index located on the top-left sidebar. 

For the first prompt, let’s choose 2012–2013 for our analysis. 

Next, we’ll select all patient provinces of interest to compare age-standardized rates across selected provinces. 

For this particular report, let’s say that the ministry of health is interested in the western provinces only. In this case, we’ll choose only Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 

Next, we’ll choose the age groups of interest.

Let’s say that the ministry of health wants to further restrict the report to focus on a subgroup of the senior population. For example, we can select age groups for patients who are 65 and older. 

We’ll also include data for both genders. 

Next, we’ll search for the filter we created earlier that defines our population of interest. 

For the last prompt, we’ll select the patient geography breakdown we wish to see in our report layout. For this particular report, we’ll select patient province/territory.

Now, we are ready to run the report. Report results are generated on the fly by CIHI’s data warehouse and are often returned within a few seconds. 

In this report, we can see the actual number of cases for this population as well as the age-standardized rates by patient province, 5-year age groups and gender.

Let’s say the that ministry of health would like to prepare this report for a presentation. We’d like to find the provinces with the highest 10% for age-standardized rates. We can accomplish this using conditional formatting by creating visual thresholds. 

We’ll highlight the highest 10% standardized rates by adding a new threshold and formatting the data using red font with yellow background. 

Looking at the formatted data, we can see that Saskatchewan has the highest 10% of age-standardized rates compared with the other western provinces.

Now, let’s say that the ministry of health is interested in creating a series of maps to compare case volumes for lens extraction/insertion across Canada for each patient province. 

First, we will run a report containing at least 1 geographic attribute in the report grid. In the grid mode view, we’ll select the globe icon from the toolbar. 

We can now display our report as a series of maps where each institution province is colour-coded based on the provincial cases (sum) metric and each institution is depicted by a coloured circle based on the institution’s cases (sum) metric. The shade of colours is based on the range of values for the cases (sum) metric, as shown on the legend at the bottom right of the map.

We can choose Alberta in the Page-By area to view a map that shows where Alberta patients are being treated for lens extraction/insertion. 

On the map, we can hover the cursor over Alberta and immediately see that there is a total of 225 cases. If we move the cursor over Saskatchewan, we see that there’s a total of 336 cases. This map shows that some Alberta residents did indeed travel to Saskatchewan to receive care and that there were more cases of lens extraction/insertion performed in Saskatchewan than in Alberta in 2012–2013.  

That brings us to the end of our brief introduction to the CIHI Portal tool. For more information, please visit our website or email us at 

Thank you for taking the time to learn what doors CIHI Portal can open for you.