HomeNews & TopicsTechnology and InnovationA snapshot of injury data available for Canada

A snapshot of injury data available for Canada

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cihiTrauma and the emergency department (ED) are inexorably linked. Many sufferers of trauma – particularly the most serious traumas – will be treated at their nearest ED or trauma care centre.

These are two topics that the Canadian Institute for Health Information () has produced several reports on owing to the crucial knowledge gap it fills and the strategic planning benefits of providing a timely, relevant and actionable snapshot of trauma hospitalizations and ED visits in Canada.

Patient with a knee injury and the doctor with x-ray in handsAn estimated 17 million visits are made to the emergency department across Canada each year. Based on Ontario and Alberta, the jurisdictions for which complete ED data is available, approximately 22 per cent of these visits are due to injuries. What makes examining trauma data so important is that it can provide a greater understanding of injury rates and volumes, contribute to clinical science and research on trauma management, and be used to develop effective injury prevention programs.

What’s New?

Our latest release of Injury and Trauma Hospitalization and Emergency Department Quick Stats provides new age and gender breakdowns for sports and winter injuries.


It notes some interesting changes in injury rates for 2013–2014 compared to the year before:

  • The number of hospitalizations caused by falls on ice increased by 44% for males (from 3,235 to 4,668) and 37 per cent for females (from 3,983 to 5,471) in 2013–2014, compared to 2012–2013.
  • Sports injury hospitalizations declined three per cent overall (from 19,568 to 18,909) from 2012–2013 to 2013–2014.
  • There was a seen per cent increase in ED injury visits by seniors aged 65 and older.

The statistics above represent a small snapshot of injury and trauma hospitalizations and ED visits in Canada. You can check out the entire set of data tables in CIHI’s Quick Stats page (www.cihi.ca/quick-stats) for more in-depth data.

Why does CIHI compile this type of information?

CIHI’s work is based on the development and maintenance of comprehensive and integrated health information that contributes to sound policy, effective health system management and hopefully improved health and health care.

We work with our stakeholders to create and maintain a broad range of health databases, measurements and standards. We also help them understand how to use our evidence-based insight and analyses in their day-to-day decision-making. We develop reports and analyses from our own data and other data sources.

CIHI does all of this in a way that ensures privacy and value for Canadians and our health care systems across the country.

Where does CIHI’s data come from?

This data is developed using CIHI’s Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), Hospital Morbidity Database (HMDB), Ontario Mental Health Reporting System (OMHRS), and National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) databases. These databases provide valuable insight on volumes and types of cases presenting to Canadian emergency departments and being admitted to acute hospitals.

In total, CIHI has built and maintains 28 pan-Canadian databases that enable health facilities, health regions, ministries of health, clinical and academic researchers to use and compare data.


Those stakeholders can then apply this information for resource and service planning, policy decisions and research provides valuable insight on volumes and types of cases presenting to Canadian hospitals.

This is, of course, just one sample of the data CIHI collects and shares.

This is, of course, just one sample of the data CIHI collects and shares. CIHI data also helps long-term care facilities reduce the use of antipsychotic meds for seniors, and hospitals rethink traditional models of care for homeless people, just as examples.

CIHI continues its important mandate of informing health system decisions on a myriad of topics, always in service of our vision: Better data. Better decisions. Healthier Canadians.

Emergency Services in CIHI Data

CIHI collects and shares important data on Emergency Department (ED) visits.

Last fall, CIHI released data on potentially avoidable ED visits. That data illustrated not only that 1 in 5 ED visits was potentially avoidable, but also treatable in a different setting, like a family physician’s office. This kind of insight can go a long way towards improved planning and changed behaviour.

CIHI is constantly working towards that next update, ensuring the most timely information is available. In fact, ED quick stats for 2014-2015 will be available on cihi.ca before the calendar flips over to 2016.


Our work is designed to benefit the health care system, by allowing ED resources to be focused on those who need them most

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