Canadian Emergency Department Information Systems (CEDIS)

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There is growing belief in the need for comparative standards and benchmarks in health care. However, Canadian hospitals gather few emergency department (ED) data, and most cannot track their case mix, care processes, utilization or outcomes.

Consequently, CAEP has identified a need for a national ED information strategy and, along with the National Emergency Nurses Affiliation (NENA) and l'Association des médecins d'urgence du Québec (AMUQ), established a joint working group on Canadian Emergency Department Information Systems (CEDIS).

The objective of the CEDIS working group is to develop a comprehensive national ED data set that meets the information needs of Canadian ED's.

Such a data set will enable regional, provincial and national comparisons, for evaluation, quality improvement and research applications in both rural and urban settings.

The eventual CEDIS goal is not to insist that all EDs capture mandatory data elements by a particular date, but rather to establish a standard so that, as ED information systems evolve, they do so in a convergent rather than divergent fashion, striving for the same information goal, albeit at different rates.

 CJEM Article

For a complete discussion of the CEDIS project, see the article in the October 2001 issue of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine:

 Presenting Complaint List

NACRS coded CEDIS complaint list ONLY (v2.0), 2011-2012
In 2009 NACRS adopted the CEDIS complaint list as an alternative to 'Reason for Visit' for emergency reporting.

CEDIS presenting complaint list (v1.1.1), CJEM 2008;10(2):151-61
The CEDIS Presenting Complaint list was updated in 2008 in conjunction with the revision of both the Adult and Paediatric CTAS guidelines.

PCL Bulletin

To see how the CEDIS complaint list is incorporated into the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS), please view the documents on the CTAS page click here and also consider viewing the 2008 Complaint Oriented Triage (COT) teaching/reference tool, please click here.

 Canadian Emergency Department Diagnosis Shortlist

CED-DxS The Canadian Emergency Department Diagnosis Shortlist

The CEDIS Diagnosis Short List (CED-DxS) will be updated every three years in alignment with the ICD-10-CA revision cycle.

Minor changes may be applied annually if deemed critical to the quality of the data being collected.

Requests for revisions must be submitted on the Submission Request Form below and emailed to

All requests will be evaluated for approval.

 ED Quality Indicator Report

Development of a Consensus on Evidence-Based Quality of Care Indicators for Canadian Emergency Departments


The CEDIS process has the support and participation of the following organizations:

 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

 L'association des médecins d'urgence du Québec

 National Emergency Nurses Affiliation

 Canadian Paediatric Society

Society of Rural Physicians of Canada


The Canadian Emergency Department Information Systems (CEDIS) Data Project is a work in-progress. Feedback is encouraged and should be directed to the The CEDIS National Working Group (c/o Dr. D. Sinclair)

CEDIS Data Elements

An initial draft of data elements has been generated, and may be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF

CEDIS Data Legends

Data Legends define the range of input for specific data elements:

 Relationship with CIHI

The mission of the Canadian Institute for Health Information [CIHI] is to maintain a comprehensive health data base to help health care leaders make informed decisions. As part of this mandate, CIHI has developed the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System [ NACRS] ED data set. The purpose of such a data set is to provide administrative data to health care managers and planners to understand ED utilization and processes. The NACRS data set is presently used in Ontario for all Emergency Departments, and also in selected EDs in Nova Scotia, and BC. The NACRS data set was designed to provide the minimum data set that most EDs could reasonable supply in an accurate timely fashion.  It has limited utility in the daily management of a crowded ED, and in particular does not capture many discrete time intervals critical in the analysis of ED patient flow.

The CDEIS working group recognizes CIHI’s central role in health information. As such, we believe it is critical to collaborate. For this reason, the CDEIS data set includes all core NACRS elements, and the working group, on behalf of our national organizations, intends to provide CIHI with ongoing feedback regarding important ED elements and definitions, so there are no major discrepancies between the two systems. We have recently added a member of CIHI staff responsible for NACRS to the working group. However, we also believe the CDEIS data set outlined in this document offers the greatest potential to improve clinical care, ED management and emergency health services research.

 Next Steps

Dissemination, feedback and revision:

Working group members will communicate the preliminary CEDIS data elements to their constituencies, including emergency nurses, pediatric and adult emergency physicians, researchers and ED administrators. The preliminary data set will be published to solicit stakeholder feedback. National and provincial emergency care organizations will be asked to endorse and promote it. Based on the outcome of this consultative process, the CEDIS document will be modified and disseminated as a national emergency care position paper.

 Contact National CEDIS Working Group

To obtain information about CEDIS or to provide feedback:

Dr. Eric Grafstein
Chair, National CEDIS Working Group

The CEDIS working group is comprised of:

  • Chair Dr. Eric Grafstein (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Andrew Affleck (Thunder Bay, Ontario), Marie-Claire Baby (Saint-Nicolas, Quebec), François Belanger (Calgary, Alberta), Jerry Bell (Regina, Saskatchewan), Michael J. Bullard (Edmonton, Alberta), Jonathan Dreyer (Arva, Ontario), Jane Findlater (Fredericton, New Brunswick), Doug Sinclair (Toronto, Ontatio), Brian R. Holroyd (Edmonton, Alberta), Michael K. Howlett (Truro, Nova Scotia), Grant D. Innes (Vancouver, British Columbia), Sherry Kennedy (Toronto, Ontario), Michael J. Murray (Phelpston, Ontario), Charles R.Y. Norman (Brandon, Manitoba), Thomas A. Rich (Calgary, Alberta), Brian H. Rowe (Edmonton, Alberta), Julie Spence (Toronto, Ontario), Bernard Unger (Montreal, Quebec), Traci FossJeans (St. John's, NL), David Warren (Dorchester, Ontario), Sherry Uribe (Kelowna, British Columbia), Colleen Brayman (Edmonton, Alberta), Gabe Wollam (Newfoundland)

The following were studied in developing the first draft of the CEDIS data set.

 Example Reports

The following reports are examples that are being created in various emergency departments across Canada. The reports are not CEDIS endorsed, they are examples only.

Problems or Comments? Email to