This site allows visitors to derive the hospital admission rates for Prevention Quality Indicators (PQIs) in a user-defined geographic area. This differs from pre-drawn maps of PQI hospital admission rates. Such maps usually show medium-to-large geographic areas like counties or towns, which are not readily combined into specific areas of interest (such as catchment areas, neighborhoods, or planning zones). Even when pre-drawn maps show ZIP codes or census tracts, the rates are not easily summed for a user's area of interest. The interactive mapping feature of this site overcomes this problem.

The basic geographic unit used on this site is the postal ZIP code because it is routinely available on the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) records used to identify PQI hospital admissions and because it represents a reasonable compromise between census tracts and towns or cities.

This site allows comparison of the observed hospital admission rate in an area with the "expected" rate based on statewide patterns by age and sex. The site also provides this comparison of observed and expected rates for Hispanics and four racial groups. It enables users to explore disparities in their own communities and to consider the relationship between location and race/ethnicity in the observed results.

Data Sources

Hospital Admissions

This site uses 2008 and 2009 acute-care hospital discharge data from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS). Discharges from both years were processed with software from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which identifies hospital admissions for each Prevention Quality Indicator (PQI) based on Diagnostic Related Group and other criteria. The hospital admission rates derived on this site are based on an average of those two years of patient records. The number of PQI hospital admissions is converted into a rate using 2008-2009 estimates of the population developed for New York State ZIP codes by Claritas, a leading national demographic firm.


All population figures expressed on site come from Claritas estimates for 2008 and 2009. The patient counts by ZIP code reflect total hospital inpatient discharges (for adults as well as children) for 2008 and 2009.