In English – the National Patient Register

On this page you will find information about the National Patient Register, the registers content, the quality of it and missing values.

Statistics of diseases and surgical treatment of patients in Sweden has been published for more than 100 years. This information has also been available for the public during the entire 20th century.

In the 1960's the National Board of Health and Welfare started to collect information regarding in-patients at public hospitals, the National Patient Register (NPR). Initially it contained information about all patients treated in psychiatric care and approximately 16 percent of patients in somatic care. The register at that time covered 6 of the 26 county councils in Sweden.

In 1984 the Ministry of Health and Welfare together with the Federation of County Councils decided a mandatory participation for all county councils. From 1987 NPR includes all in-patient care in Sweden. Since 2001 the register also covers outpatient visits including day surgery and psychiatric care from both private and public caregivers. Primary care is not yet covered in the NPR.

Information available in the register

The information in NPR can be divided into four different groups. These groups consist of several variables. You can find information about them in the following document.


Information to the register is delivered to the National Board of Health and Welfare once a month from each of the 21 county councils in Sweden.

Quality of data and Reporting procedures

The underreporting for inpatient data has been estimated to less than one percent. Rapid changes of hospital organization in Sweden make it difficult to precisely estimate the drop-out rate particularly in the areas concerning psychiatric and geriatric care.

Emergency Wait Times

The quality of the time point variables reported for emergency visits is still unestablished. All county councils, the primary emergency health care providers, have been able to report time points for emergency visits and the possibility of using these time points to calculate wait times is currently investigated.

Involuntary psychiatric care and forensic psychiatric care

The quality in the data about involuntary psychiatric care and forensic psychiatric care has been improving every year from the start of reporting in 2009. The numbers, especially the ones about involuntary measures in the psychiatric care, have increased due to a better reporting each year. There still is an assessment that the quality of the data is not good enough for using the data for general analysis and research.

Submitted data is tested

A quality control of the register is performed on the submitted data. The control checks for quality and validity of, for instance, personal registration number, hospital and main diagnosis. If the data is incorrect above a certain threshold new data is requested.

Description of missing values in compulsory variables

Personal registration number

The personal registration number (PNR) makes it possible to follow each individual over time. The number of stays with missing PNR has remained constant at around one percent the past several years. Stays with missing PNR is generally due to the patient being a non-resident, an asylum seeker or a newborn.

Main diagnosis

Cases with missing main diagnosis are around one percent. There is a great deal of variability between counties and medical specialties. Psychiatric care had the highest rate of missing diagnoses at around five percent.

External causes

When an injury or poisoning diagnosis is reported an external cause code is mandatory. The rate of missing codes is circa three percent.


Anders Jacobsson
075-247 30 00