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Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing Our Services

  • The first step is to create a CIHI profile, which will allow you to access our products and services. Several applications are available to everyone who has a CIHI profile, including the eQuery tool, the Learning Centre and eStore. A number of other applications, such as eReports, are restricted to only data-submitting or approved non-submitting organizations. Access to these applications depends on whether your organization is entitled to access the data and has a service agreement or licence in place with CIHI.

    Please go to our Create a Profile page to get started.

    Important

    • Please keep your CIHI profile information current to maintain your access. You can make any necessary changes by logging in and clicking Edit Profile in the left-hand navigation menu.
    • If you no longer require your CIHI profile or access to specific applications, please contact CIHI immediately.
    • CIHI profiles are for individual use and cannot be shared.
  • Once you have created a CIHI profile, you can request access to restricted CIHI applications. Log in to your CIHI profile and click Request Access: New/Revoke in the left-hand navigation menu. You can request or revoke access for yourself or others within your organization by completing the mandatory information. You will need to select the program, service, request type and role (if required). For most of our services, you will also need to provide your organization identifier(s) so we can authenticate and process your request.

    Please log in to your CIHI profile to submit a request for access, or contact us at help@cihi.ca for more information. 

  • CIHI’s Learning Centre offers a large number of educational products and services. The courses cover, among other things, how to code data, how to submit data to CIHI, how to use CIHI’s reports and how to use data for decision-making.

    CIHI delivers its education sessions through the following methods:

    • Web conferences: Live, online interactive presentations with discussion
    • Workshops: Face-to-face interactive sessions at locations across Canada
    • Self-study: Interactive elearning courses
    • Downloadable documents
    • Online web conference recordings with learning assessments (where applicable)

    Non–Core Plan users are subject to CIHI’s Learning Centre Pricing Policy.

    Visit our Events and Education page for additional information or email help@cihi.ca.

    eStore

    CIHI’s eStore offers access to CIHI’s products, publications, instruction manuals and other tools. Access to some eStore products is restricted to clients whose organizations have signed a service agreement with CIHI.

    The quantities provided through the Core Plan to health care facilities are determined by the health care facility type, the total number of beds and the annual volume of case abstracts. Some Core Plan elements are subject to confidentiality and privacy restrictions, and are provided taking into account any imposed limitation.

  • Vendor licensing

    CIHI develops products, services and tools to help inform stakeholders and improve the health and well-being of Canadians. Vendors (software developers) must sign a licence agreement to receive CIHI’s products and services. The agreement provides vendors with the CIHI products they need to develop and support their software to meet the electronic submission requirements for our data holdings. Once we receive the signed 3-year licence agreement and annual products selection form, vendors receive our products as they become available.

    For more information on becoming a licensed CIHI vendor, please email help@cihi.ca.

    Vendor testing

    CIHI requires all licensed vendors to submit test files at the beginning of every fiscal year to ensure compliance in applying all new edits for data collection. Additional information about this process is available on the Vendor Licensing page of our website.

    CIHI vendors

    View commercial vendors that have successfully completed testing for the following data holdings:

  • Access according to organization size

    Health facilities can access specific quantities of non-education Core Plan products and services according to their size (small, medium or large). Size is determined based on the total number of beds and/or the volume of case abstracts submitted to any of these CIHI data holdings: Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS), National Rehabilitation Reporting System (NRS) or Continuing Care Reporting System (CCRS). More information on organization size and entitlements according to size is noted below.

    Hospitals

    Under the Core Plan, hospitals receive products and services relevant to the data holdings they submit to, as well as other health information publications and reports of general interest. A hospital’s size is determined by its total number of beds and the volume of case abstracts submitted to the CIHI data holding it participates in, as follows:

    • Small hospitals: 1 to 199 beds and a volume of no more than 50,000 case abstracts annually
    • Medium hospitals: 200 to 399 beds and a volume of no more than 100,000 case abstracts annually OR 1 to 199 beds and a volume of 50,001 to 100,000 case abstracts annually
    • Large hospitals: 400 or more beds or more than 100,000 case abstracts annually

    Continuing care and rehabilitation facilities

    Under the Core Plan, continuing care/rehabilitation facilities receive products and services relevant to CCRS (RAI-MDS 2.0 ©, interRAI LTCF ©) and NRS, as well as other health information publications and reports of general interest. A continuing care/rehabilitation facility’s size is based on its total number of beds, as follows:

    • Small facilities: 1 to 30 beds
    • Medium facilities: 31 to 99 beds
    • Large facilities: 100 or more beds

    Home care organizations

    Under the Core Plan, home care organizations receive products and services relevant to HCRS (RAI-HC ©, interRAI HC ©), as well as other health information publications and reports of general interest. Due to the home-based nature of their operations, home care organizations are deemed to be small for the purposes of receiving products under the Core Plan.

    Quantities of specific products and services provided to health organizations (according to their size), regional health authorities (or similar) and ministries of health

    Products and services Health organization: Small Health organization: Medium Health organization: Large Region Ministry of health

    * Based on a licence for 5 concurrent users.
    † Based on a licence for 100 concurrent users.

    MIS Standards* 1 1 2 1 2
    ICD-10-CA/CCI 1 1 1 1 1
    Disease/ intervention classifications derivatives 1 1 1 1 1
    Data set and grouping methodology standards tables 1 2 3 1 3
    Publications (electronic) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
    Education (participant) Unlimited (based on availability) Unlimited (based on availability) Unlimited (based on availability) Unlimited (based on availability) Unlimited (based on availability)

    In-house education services

    CIHI’s in-house education services help individual facilities and their staff better use CIHI’s various standards, databases and tools. This unique service allows clients to focus on their specific learning objectives to create an agenda that addresses these areas.

    In addition, all of CIHI’s regularly scheduled workshops can be presented as in-house sessions. Scheduling for in-house education services is subject to CIHI’s availability. For more information about CIHI’s in-house education services, visit CIHI’s Learning Centre or send an email to education@cihi.ca.

     

    RAI-MDS 2.0 © interRAI Corporation, Washington, D.C., 1995, 1997, 1999. Modified with permission for Canadian use under licence to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

    RAI-HC © interRAI Corporation, Washington, D.C., 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001. Modified with permission for Canadian use under licence to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

    interRAI HC © interRAI Corporation, Washington, D.C., 1994–2012. Modified with permission for Canadian use under licence to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canadianized items and their descriptions © Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2020.

    interRAI LTCF © interRAI Corporation, Washington, D.C., 1990–2011. Modified with permission for Canadian use under licence to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canadianized items and their descriptions © Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2020.

Requesting Data

Data Definitions

  • Aggregate-level data is summed and/or categorized data that can answer research questions about populations or groups of organizations. The data has been compiled from record-level data to a level that ensures the identities of individuals or organizations cannot be determined by a reasonably foreseeable method.

  • Record-level data is data in which each record is related to a single individual or organization.

  • Personal health information is health information about an individual that identifies the specific individual; that may be used or manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify the individual; or that may be linked by a reasonably foreseeable method to other information that identifies the individual.

Data Storage, Retention and Secure Destruction

  • According to the Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement, you must destroy or return all third-party data, as well as any copies made, within 1 year of publishing any work or 3 years after receiving record-level data (whichever comes first). CIHI does not require aggregate data to be returned.

  • Yes. Any publications resulting from data provided by CIHI must cite CIHI as the source of the data and must indicate that the results or views expressed are those of the author(s).

  • In exceptional circumstances, it may possible to retain data for longer than 3 years. A request for an extension must be made in writing to CIHI.

  • Secure destruction of record-level data refers to the destruction of the data in such a manner that reconstruction is not reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances, as defined in Section 18 of the Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement. Industry best practices for the secure destruction of data are constantly evolving; this is particularly true for data in electronic format. For general information about secure destruction methods, please review the fact sheet available from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. This fact sheet includes suggested best practices for the destruction of personal information. More information about CIHI’s current secure destruction requirements is available upon request.

  • For record-level data, the institution or organization requesting CIHI data is ultimately accountable for protecting the data and complying with the terms and conditions in Section 11 of the Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement. If, for any reason, the data is to be moved or relocated from the organization/institution, CIHI must be informed in writing prior to the move. CIHI follows up with third-party requestors to ensure secure destruction of record-level data at the end of its term.

  • Yes. In compliance with the Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement, recipients of CIHI data must take all reasonable measures to avoid residual disclosure of the identity of individuals or health facilities.

  • Yes. The requirements for the secure destruction of CIHI record-level data are set out as part of the data request process. Question 7 of CIHI’s record-level Data Request Form requires the recipient of CIHI data to outline the approach (and/or methods) that will be used to securely destroy the data.

    At the end of the retention period, data must be securely destroyed in compliance with the Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement. Recipients of CIHI data, supervisors (in the case of GSDAP students) and ultimately the institution or organization will be asked to provide CIHI with a certificate of destruction, which certifies the completion of the secure destruction activity and sets out the date, time, location and method of secure destruction employed. A template for the certificate of destruction is available upon request from CIHI.

The Graduate Student Data Access Program