Skip to main content

Thank you for your interest in using NC DETECT emergency department visit data for public health research purposes. At this time researchers must be based in North Carolina to receive NC DETECT datasets.

Before you submit your data request, you must go through a data request presentation. The presentation will:

  • Give you a brief overview of NC DETECT
  • Describe the data available in NC DETECT
  • Walk you through the data request process

After completing the presentation, you will be directed to the online data request submission form. The data request submission form requires information on the following:

  • Primary requester contact information and information for all co-requesters (anyone who will have access to the dataset provided)
  • Research purpose and public health significance
  • How the research will be used (presentation, publication, grant application, dissertation, etc.)

We strongly recommend contacting us at to discuss your data request before submission.

Due to severe resource limitations, research data requests may take several months to be processed.

To expedite the data request process, the NC Division of Public Health has developed a standardized limited dataset of NC DETECT emergency department data that serves the needs of most applied public health researchers. The data elements included in this dataset are listed in the table below. Requesting this limited dataset rather than a customized one is strongly encouraged.

Data Element NameDescription/Notes
Internal Tracking IDNC DETECT-generated identifier that uniquely identifies a patient in a healthcare facility/system. Can be used to track repeat visits by the same patient to the same facility/system. Associated with the Medical Record Number
Patient AgeAvailable in years
SexM (Male), F (Female), U (Unknown)
Race and EthnicityData were 50% complete starting in January 2016 and 90% complete starting in August 2016
Patient CountyPatient’s county of residence
Patient ZIPPatient’s ZIP of residence (3-digit)
Patient StatePatient’s state of residence
Visit IDNC DETECT-generated identifier that uniquely identifies a specific ED visit. Associated with the Account Number
Insurance Coverage (or Other Expected Source of Payment)Entity or person expected to be responsible for patient’s bill for this ED visit (private insurance, self-pay, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) coded values, code descriptions and free text values
Arrival Date/Time of DayFirst date and time (2-hour time blocks) documented in patient’s record for this ED visit
Transport ModePatient’s mode of transport to ED (walk-in, ground ambulance, etc.) coded values, code descriptions, and  free text values
Chief ComplaintPatient’s reason for seeking care or attention, expressed in terms as close as possible to those used by patient or responsible informant
Blood PressureBlood pressure taken at triage (when available)
Initial TemperatureTemperature taken at triage (in Celsius) (when available)
DispositionPatient’s anticipated location or status following ED visit (discharged, admitted, transferred, died, etc.) coded values, code descriptions, and free text values
Disposition Diagnosis DescriptionPractitioner’s description of condition or problem for which services were provided during patient’s ED visit, recorded at time of disposition
Diagnosis Code(s)ICD-9-CM (through 9/30/2015) or ICD-10-CM Final Diagnosis Codes (10/1/2015 to present)
Procedure Code(s)ICD-9-PCS and ICD-10-PCS, and CPT codes