U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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National Data Warehouse (NDW)  

User Population/Workload Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Workload Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

User Population Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you explain how you arrive at the Userpop counts and how the process was determined?
What is the IHS definition of a userpop?
Who decided on the definition?
Where can I get the official Userpop count? What if I disagree with my numbers?
How should I interpret the Userpop reports on the web?
For purposes of the Userpop report, the contents of the NDW are treated as twelve completely separate databases, one for each of the twelve administrative areas in IHS.  (The administrative areas will hereafter be referred to as ‘Areas’.)   Each Area’s report takes into account ALL the data from the various facilities in their Area but only those facilities in their Area.  The Area of the report is indicated by this line in the header:  “User Population for:” 

The columns across the top of each page are:

  • Total Registrants: Sum of the non-Indian and Indian registrants columns
  • Non-Indian Registrants:
  • Indian Registrants:
  • Non-Indian Active:
  • Indian Active:

“Registrants” are virtually all of those people who have ever had their records sent to the NDW (see “Who is excluded?”), active or not. Because people frequently visit (and therefore register at) more than one facility, the facility registration records are unduplicated (see “How are registrants unduplicated?”) so that one physical registrant is counted only once on the Area’s report.

“Actives” are that subset of registrants who have had a workload-reportable visit (see “What constitutes a workload-reportable visit?”) somewhere in the Area during the 3-year timeframe of the report. The specific 3-year timeframe of the report is identified in the header:

  • Active count includes registrants with at least one visit since: starting date
  • Report date as of: ending date

The rows of the report generally specify where the registrant “resides.” Where a person resides is based not on their mailing address but on their “community of residence.”  Because we are a highly mobile society, it is to be expected that each Area will report registrants “residing” all over the country.

The first criterion for breakout is “Area of Residence.”  The “Area of Residence” is a 2-digit code subdividing an administrative Area by Indian Health Service/Tribal/Urban (ITU) attribute. (This 2-digit code will hereafter be referred to as ITU.)  An Area can have up to four ITUs associated with it, normally one for each of the categories: ‘IHS’, ‘Tribal’, ‘Urban’, and ‘Non-IHS’.  While not every Area uses their codes as defined, the definitions are located at ITU Definitions. Summary totals within each ITU are displayed in the report.
The secondary criterion for breakout is “Service Unit” (SU) – a 2-digit code that, on its own, is not definitive. It must be referred to in combination with the ITU. The 4-digit code is actually ITU + service unit.  The codes are located in the Service Unit Table. Summary totals within each service unit are displayed in the report.

For convenience of special requirements, the report can be further broken down and summarized by the following: (See “What are the Userpop report options?” section for more information.)

  • County – A 2-digit code that, on its own, is not definitive. It must be referred to in combination with the 2-digit state. The 4-digit code in the following table is actually state + county:
    State + County Table

  • Community

  • Tribe

The Area’s totals appear on the last page of the report.  These totals include everyone once no matter where they “reside:” (“Registered” and “Active” continue to have the same meanings throughout the report.)

  • Total registered
  • Total active Indian
  • Total active non-Indian
  • Total active  [Close]

How does the Userpop report on the web relate to the “official Userpop count” issued by HQ?
Why doesn’t it match my local (RPMS Patient Registration) report?
How often are the reports posted to the web?
What if I disagree with my numbers?
Who is excluded?
How are registrants unduplicated?
How important is it where the LAST visit of the 3-year period took place?
What if: One of my registrants is also visiting another area?
What if: One of my residents chooses not to visit my area?
How do you decide who is an Indian?
What constitutes a workload-reportable visit?
What are the Userpop report options?
Can I get a special variation of a Userpop report? How far back?
Why can’t I get a Userpop report by facility?
Why does my Userpop report contain residents of other areas?
Why might counts for any given service unit be low?
How do I suggest a change to the user population process?
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