April 7, 2020  — 

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) recognizes the tremendous strain on Canada’s health systems due to COVID-19. We know that many jurisdictions are redirecting front-line staff to respond to the pandemic. As a result, this may limit staff availability to complete assessments and submit data to CIHI.

We are prepared to accommodate provincial and territorial directions as they relate both to data submission to our reporting systems (including those systems for hospitals and long-term care) and to the assessment completion process in long-term care facilities.

Please follow your provincial and territorial directives for assessment completion and data submission. In the absence of a directive, the information below will help you to prioritize assessment and data submission activities.

Assessment completion

To identify those who are at risk, generate information for care planning and minimize impacts on reporting and indicators, we encourage you to follow these guidelines:

Long-term care (submits to CCRS or IRRS)

  • Code U07.1 (confirmed) or U07.2 (suspected) for cases of COVID-19. This coding direction is posted on CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page.
  • Prioritize comprehensive assessments (e.g., admission assessments, assessments when there is a change in health condition, annual assessments).
  • Complete quarterly assessments to the extent possible. Some indicators require an assessment to be completed every 92 days (once a quarter). If this is not possible, we recommend that you complete the quarterly assessments no more than 150 days apart to minimize impacts on the quality indicators.
  • Note: There are no planned system changes for 2020–2021.

Home care (submits to HCRS and IRRS)

  • Code U07.1 (confirmed) or U07.2 (suspected) for cases of COVID-19. This coding direction is posted on CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page.
  • Prioritize admission assessments and assessments when there is a change in health condition.
  • Given that the average time between assessments across Canada is approximately 1 year, it is not recommended that this time frame be extended.
  • Note: System changes for HCRS 2020–2021 will be postponed to next year. Information for vendors is now available in the Vendor Licensed Products application.

Complex continuing care (submits to CCRS or IRRS)

  • Code U07.1 (confirmed) or U07.2 (suspected) for cases of COVID-19. This coding direction is posted on CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page.
  • Prioritize admission assessments and assessments when there is a change in health condition.
  • Complete quarterly assessments to the extent possible. Some indicators require an assessment to be completed every 92 days (once a quarter). If this is not possible, we recommend that you complete the quarterly assessments no more than 150 days apart to minimize impacts on the quality indicators.
  • Note: There are no planned system changes for 2020–2021.

Inpatient mental health (submits to OMHRS)

  • Code U07.1 (confirmed) or U07.2 (suspected) for cases of COVID-19. This coding direction is posted on CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page.
  • Prioritize admission and discharge assessments, and assessments when there is a change in health condition.
  • Complete quarterly assessments for long-stay clients to the extent possible.
  • Note: System changes for 2020–2021 will proceed as planned.

Inpatient rehabilitation (submits to the NRS)

  • Code U07.1 (confirmed) or U07.2 (suspected) for cases of COVID-19, starting April 1, 2020. These codes are being added to the NRS pick-list. If these codes are not available in your system, assign B99 Other and unspecified infectious diseases for confirmed cases. This coding direction is posted on CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page
  • Prioritize admissions and discharge to capture changes in function and other rehab indicators.
  • Defer follow-up assessments.
  • Note: There are no planned system changes for 2020–2021; however, CIHI has updated the NRS ICD-10-CA pick-list to include codes for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19. The updated pick-list is now available to vendors, who can download it from the Vendor Licensed Products application.

Data submission

We encourage you to submit your data each quarter, wherever possible. If you are unable to meet the current data submission deadlines, please submit the data within the next quarter. CCRS, HCRS, IRRS, OMHRS and the NRS refresh quarterly; therefore, data from a previous quarter can be added at any time.

Our goal is to ensure a revised approach that

  • Meets provincial and territorial needs;
  • Provides flexibility to ease the burden on staff who are responsible for data collection and submission;
  • Maintains the integrity and completeness of Canada’s health data supply, some of which is needed to support Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Takes into account the downstream impacts of adjustments to data products and reporting services.

CIHI will continue to monitor the situation and the status of data submissions, and will provide updates as appropriate.

If you have any questions, please email specializedcare@cihi.ca.