Dataset Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD)

Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD) 
Data Provider (source):

Canadian Institute for Health Information


The Canadian Patient Cost Database (CPCD) contains patient-level cost data from health service organizations in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. Detailed costs are submitted to CIHI at the individual encounter level for: Inpatient, Outpatient, Long-term care, Complex continuing care, Mental health, Rehabilitation services. Depending on the type of care received, the term “encounter” can mean: an inpatient stay; an emergency department, clinic or day surgery visit; the length of time a resident spent in a long-term care facility (similar to inpatient stay, but resident stays often span fiscal years and may include planned absences); and the length of time spent in a mental health facility (similar to an inpatient stay). More information about health spending, including reports and analyses based on CPCD data is available on the CIHI website.

Health service organizations can report their finances to the CPCD at both the patient and encounter levels. They do this through an activity-based cost accounting methodology. In health care, this methodology is known as patient costing or case costing. Financial data is collected based on the MIS Standards and the MIS Patient Costing Methodology.

More than 60 Canadian health service organizations submit data to the CPCD, including:

  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario
  • Alberta Health and Wellness
  • Fraser Health Authority and St. Paul’s Hospital in British Columbia
To facilitate comparative reporting and support policy planning, decision-making and research. 
Type of Data (select all that apply):
Health Care and Health Services 
Data Collection Method (select all that apply):
Individual Level Data, Administrative Data 
Various health service orgs from BC, ON & AB 
Identifiers used for linkage:
Personal Health Number, Date of birth, Postal Code 
Access requiredments and conditions for Researchers and Projects:

Data Access Conditions:

  • In addition to the CIHI data access condition below, requests for Quebec data are subject to review and authorization from the Quebec Privacy Commission (Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec) and the Québec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS).
  • CIHI discloses health information and analyses on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians in a manner consistent with its mandate and core functions. These disclosures typically fall into one of four categories:
    • Disclosures to parties with responsibility for the planning and management of the health care system to enable them to fulfill those functions;
    • Disclosures to parties with a decision-making role regarding health care system policy to facilitate their work;
    • Disclosures to parties with responsibility for population health research and/or analysis; and
    • Disclosures to third-party data requesters to facilitate health or health services research and/or analysis.
  • Prior to disclosure, CIHI reviews the requests to ensure that the disclosures are consistent with the above and meet the requirements of applicable legislation.
  • CIHI data disclosures are made at the highest degree of anonymity possible while still meeting the research and/or analytical purposes. This means that, whenever possible, data are aggregated.
  • Where aggregate data are not sufficiently detailed for the research and/or analytical purposes, data that have been de-identified using various de-identification processes may be disclosed to the recipient on a case-by-case basis and where the recipient has entered into a data protection agreement or other legally binding instrument with CIHI.
  • Only those data elements necessary to meet the identified research or analytical purposes may be disclosed.
  • For more information, please reference CIHI’s Privacy Policy:

Requirements for record-level data access:

  • Prior to disclosure, the recipient must sign a data protection agreement or other legally binding instrument that, at a minimum, contains the following requirements:
    • Prohibits re-identifying or contacting the individuals;
    • Prohibits linking the de-identified data unless expressly authorized in writing by CIHI;
    • Limits the purposes for which the de-identified data may be used;
    • Requires that the de-identified data be safeguarded;
    • Limits publication or disclosure to data that do not allow identification of any individual;
    • Requires the destruction of data, as specified;
    • Permits CIHI to conduct on-site privacy audits pursuant to its privacy audit program; and
    • Requires the recipient to comply with any other provision that CIHI deems necessary to further safeguard the data.
  • Prior to the disclosure of de-identified data for research purposes, the requester will provide CIHI with evidence of Research Ethics Board approval.
  • CIHI reserves the right to impose any other requirement(s) as needed on a case-by-case basis in order to maintain the confidentiality of de-identified data.
  • Prior to disclosure, program areas will evaluate the de-identified data to assess and subsequently minimize privacy risks of re-identification and residual disclosure, and to implement the necessary mitigating measures to manage residual risks.
  • CIHI will not disclose de-identified data if it is reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances that it could be utilized, either alone or with other information, to identify an individual and that, where it is reasonably foreseeable that it could be used to identify an individual, the information will be treated as personal health information.

Access process:  All data access requests can be initiated at the following CIHI webpage:, and complete an Access Data Inquiry Form.

Phone: 1-613-241-5543 Email: 




Data is available from:
Data is available from 2004/05. 
More Information (including references):

Variables and concepts used to capture information in the CPCD are based on the MIS Standards and its companion document, the MIS Patient Costing Methodology. These standards are used to report management information and to create patient cost data that is ultimately submitted to the CPCD. Health service organizations also use these standards to report departmental-level management information to the Canadian MIS Database.

The Canadian Patient Cost Database Data Submission Specifications provide details on the type of data available in the CPCD and guidelines for data submitters when sending data to CPCD. To obtain a copy please contact

[2019-02-11 16:44] Sarah Kesselring: Edited by Sarah Kesselring (skesselring)