Vision and Mission

Goals and objectives

The CEDIS working group is an advisory body that has responsibility for stewardship of the information needs for Canadian Emergency Departments. The group normally meets annually and has the following goals and objectives:
1. To review and approve any changes to the national CEDIS data element set based on recommendations from the CTAS working group, or member organizations

2. To promote the use of the CEDIS data set as the recommended standard for all Canadian emergency departments

3. To develop and maintain an excellent working relationship with the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS)

4. To support innovation and research to develop best practice information systems in Canadian emergency departments

5. To act as a resource/advisory body to its member organizations

CEDIS Working Group Terms of Reference DRAFT (2007)

Organization Members

The following organizations will be members of the working group, and will name two official representatives, although meetings are open to any interested members of the participating organizations:

  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
  • National Emergency Nurses Affiliation
  • Association Medicine D’Urgence du Quebec
  • Canadian Pediatrics Association
  • Rural Physicians Association of Canada
  • Canadian Institute of Health Information (ex-officio)

CEDIS National Working Group Members

The CEDIS working group is comprised of:

  • Chair Dr. Eric Grafstein (Vancouver, BC)
  • Andrew Affleck (Thunder Bay, ON)
  • Marie-Claire Baby (Saint-Nicolas, QC)
  • François Belanger (Calgary, AB)
  • Jerry Bell (Regina, SK)
  • Michael J. Bullard (Edmonton, AB)
  • Jonathan Dreyer (Arva, ON)
  • Jane Findlater (Fredericton, NB)
  • Doug Sinclair (Toronto, ON)
  • Brian R. Holroyd (Edmonton, AB)
  • Michael K. Howlett (Truro, NS)
  • Grant D. Innes (Vancouver, BC)
  • Sherry Kennedy (Toronto, ON)
  • Michael J. Murray (Phelpston, ON)
  • Charles R.Y. Norman (Brandon, MB)
  • Thomas A. Rich (Calgary, AB)
  • Brian H. Rowe (Edmonton, AB)
  • Julie Spence (Toronto, ON)
  • Bernard Unger (Montreal, QC)
  • Traci Foss Jeans (St. John’s, NL)
  • David Warren (Dorchester, ON)
  • Sherry Uribe (Kelowna, BC)
  • Colleen Brayman (Edmonton, AB)
  • Gabe Wollam (NL)

To obtain information about CEDIS or to provide feedback:

Dr. Eric Grafstein
Chair, National CEDIS Working Group
Email: cedis@caep.ca


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 EDs.

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.

Defining Standardized Canadian Data Elements - 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:

A consensus-based process to define standard national data elements for a Canadian emergency department information system, G. Innes, M. Murray, E. Grafstein, for the Canadian Emergency Department Information System (CEDIS) working group. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2001;4:277-284

Traduction française (92kb): Une version française de l’article du CJEM est aussi disponible en format PDF: Un Processus Basé Sur Le Consensus En Vue De Définir Un Ensemble National De Données Standardisées Pour Les Systèmes D’information Et De Gestion Des Départements D’urgence Canadiens

Presenting Complaint List

NACRS coded CEDIS complaint list ONLY (v2.0), 2012

In 2009, NACRS adopted the CEDIS complaint list as an alternative to ‘Reason for Visit’ for emergency reporting. The list is currently under review and will be updated and reposted at the end of 2016 along with the CTAS update.

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

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 nacrspicklists@cihi.ca.

All requests will be evaluated for approval.


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

Work in Progress

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 database 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 CEDIS working group recognizes CIHI’s central role in health information. As such, we believe it is critical to collaborate. For this reason, the CEDIS 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 CEDIS data set outlined in this document offers the greatest potential to improve clinical care, ED management and emergency health services research.

Next Steps

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.

Links to Other Data Sets

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.

Comments? Email info@caep.ca

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