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Standard HL7 and non-HL7 Format

Any American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) program, entity, or site that uses a health information system may be able to send in data. Further detailed information for being recognized as an IHS sending site can be provided by the appropriate Area Statistical Officer.

To ensure that the National Data Warehouse (NDW) can properly receive your data, please work with your Area Statistical Officer to establish the following:

  • IHS DBID (database identifier)
  • Facility code
  • Review of the Standard Code Book (SCB) facility table coding information, as all data in the NDW is based on the Standard Code Book

Acceptable Export Formats

IHS RPMS system

For sites that are using the IHS RPMS system, IHS provides an application that will export data to the NDW in the proper format. For more information about this application, refer to the Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) website.

The following file formats (HL7, non-HL7 and ASD) apply to facilities that are using non-RPMS systems.

IHS NPIRS/NDW Data Transmission Using HL7 Standards Format

For those sites that are not using RPMS, the preferred file format conforms to the industry-wide standard format for healthcare information, HL7 version 2.4. Besides the minimum elements required for basic reporting, such as Workload and User Population reports, the HL7 export format includes data elements that can be used to provide expanded reporting capabilities and analyses related to other health status needs and performance measurement activities, such as Diabetes Management, Epidemiology, GPRA/GPRAMA, and both ICD-9/ICD-10.

IHS NPIRS/NDW Data Transmission Using Non-HL7 Delimited File

For those that cannot yet implement the industry-wide standard (HL7), the Non-HL7 Delimited File is available for transmission of data. This format includes data elements that can be used to provide basic reporting, such as Workload and User Population reports.

IHS Alternative Simplified Delimited (ASD) Format

For those that cannot yet implement the Non-HL7 Delimited File, the ASD format is available for transmission of data.

The ASD file format was also developed to enable sites to send additional data elements (e.g. medications, health factor, HCPCS etc.).

Business Rules

The rules governing the loading and storage of registration and encounter data are compiled in the NPIRS Basic Business Rules document. This document covers the business rules for the NDW core business functions, which are essential to all of the services that the NDW provides.

User Population and Workload

The User Population is an official count of all registered and active users (patients) within each IHS Administrative Area.

Workload is used to verify number of countable visits made to IHS Areas/Service Units/Facilities (ASUFAC).

Please refer to the following documentation for further information.

Timeline for Submitting User Population and Workload data

The Office of Public Health Support (OPHS) publishes a new timeline each year with important reporting deadlines in order for facilities be included in official FY User Population and Workload reporting.

Please contact the OIT Helpdesk at for technical assistance whether related to RPMS or non-RPMS systems.