• Mailing Address
    Dept. of State Health Services
    Center for Health Statistics, MC 1898
    PO Box 149347
    Austin, Texas 78714-9347

    Moreton Building, M-660
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7261
    Fax: 512-776-7740
    Email: thcichelp@dshs.state.tx.us

Texas Outpatient Research Data File (OP RDF)

In accordance with Health and Safety Code, Section 108.012(b),"the council (department) may charge a person requesting public use or provider quality data a fee for the data.  The fees may reflect the quantity of information provided and the expense incurred by the council (department) in collecting and providing the data and shall be set at a level that will raise revenue sufficient for the operation of the council (department's program).  The council (department) may not charge a fee for providing public use data to another state agency.

Chapter 108 may be viewed by clicking here.

Outpatient Data not released in the PUDF can be requested for research purposes by individuals and organizations, including universities and government agencies. The data elements required for the proposed research and a description of the intended use of the data are reviewed by THCIC program to ensure compliance with statutes governing the data and appropriate quality of detail within the application. Once THCIC program has approved the request, it is forwarded to the DSHS Institutional Review Board for scientific review, including ethical considerations and final approval.

Please note that THCIC data is covered by specific statutes that are not the same as typical Public Health Surveillance laws.  It is a criminal act to attempt to identify any physician or patient through use of THCIC outpatient data (see Chapter 108, Texas Health and Safety Code). Your research data request should demonstrate an understanding of these statutes and include details of how the data will be handled throughout all stages of your research study.

Outpatient Research Data Application Forms and Instruction

The Outpatient Research Data File (RDF) contains data on outpatient surgical and radiological procedures from Texas hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Data are available by calendar year beginning with data for 2010. The 2014 Outpatient RDF data is available now. The scheduled availability date for 2015 Outpatient RDF data is January 2017.

Only RDF data variables needed for each study may be requested.

*A new policy regarding the Outpatient RDF was implemented on August 1, 2012. Data requestors will no longer be able to link a RDF to a THCIC Public Use Data File (PUDF). The Record_ID field will be available in both RDF and PUDF; however, new sequences will be in the RDF that will not match with the PUDF Record ID.  The researcher must request all data variables needed to conduct the research study from the RDF order form. The variable selection list is in the THCIC Outpatient Research Request form below.

Note: Variables in the PUDF may be masked or suppressed. Variables in the RDF are not masked or suppressed.

STEPS FOR Requesting Research Data

1. Call or email the THCIC program at (512) 776-7261 or thcichelp@dshs.state.tx.us and ask for the Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC) program contact for Research Data requests.

2. Discuss your request with the THCIC program contact. Explain briefly what data years you will request and the scope of the research study.

3. Complete the latest version of the IRB Application and Submission Detail forms, plus the THCIC Outpatient Research Request form in “draft” and email the forms to the THCIC program contact.

The THCIC program will “preview” your draft forms for any potential issues that may cause your application to be disapproved and will provide you with this information by email within four business days.

4. Finalize your forms (IRB Application, IRB Submission Detail, THCIC Form, and any other required IRB forms).

5. Sign the original forms, make the appropriate number of copies as indicated on the IRB website (http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/irb/applirb.shtm), and mail the completed application to the THCIC Program to the address below. The THCIC Program will forward the packet to the DSHS IRB program.

Once the completed application is received by the THCIC Program, it will be reviewed for approval by the THCIC Program, the DSHS Office of General Council, and the DSHS Chief Operation Officer before it is forwarded to the DSHS IRB for review. A final review, after the DSHS IRB has approved your application, must be approved by the DSHS Executive Steering Committee.

Ensure your packet is mailed to meet the THCIC Program due date (see the schedule below).  Multiple DSHS programs must review and approve your application before the THCIC Program can forward it to the DSHS IRB for review.  The THCIC Program forwards your application to the DSHS IRB about 3 weeks prior to the DSHS IRB review meeting date to ensure compliance with Chapter 552, Government Code.

Within two weeks after the DSHS IRB meeting date, you will receive an email notification from the DSHS IRB Administrator indicating approval or disapproval of your research data request.  The THCIC Program contact is copied on the email.  If your research data request is approved, the THCIC Program contact will email you a billing invoice for payment of the approved research data within two business days.  The THCIC Program will begin building your research data request and it will be mailed to you within five business days of payment receipt.


Mail to:
Texas Department of State Health Services
Center for Health Statistics, THCIC Program
P.O. Box 149347, MC 1898
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

Overnight mail:
Texas Department of State Health Services
Center for Health Statistics, THCIC Program
1100 W. 49th Street, MC 1898
Austin, Texas 78756-3199

THCIC Research Application Due Dates IRB Review Date
THCIC Research Application Due Date IRB Review Date
June 15, 2016 July 21, 2016
July 14, 2016 August 18, 2016
August 16, 2016 September 15, 2016
September 14, 2016 October 20, 2016
October 14, 2016 November 17, 2016
November 15, 2016 December 15, 2016

Research Data Dictionary - Outpatient (PDF format, 150 MB)

Data Purchasers

The list of organizations includes a variety of organizations that use the data for analysis.  This list is updated annually.  

Download Adobe Reader to view PDF files.

If you have suggestions or comments, please submit them to THCIC.

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.


Last updated June 15, 2016