In English – the National Patient Register

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 patiens treated in psychiatric care and approx 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. NPR includes 50 million discharges for the period 1964 to 2006. The register contains, from 2001, also outpatient visits including daysurgery and psyciatric 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 4 different groups. These groups consists of several variabels.

1. Patientdata

  • personal registration number
  • sex
  • age
  • place of residence

2. Geographical data

  • county council
  • hospital/ clinic
  • department

3. Administrative data


  • date of admission
  • date of disharge
  • length of stay
  • acute/planned admission
  • admitted from
  • discharged to


  • date of admission
  • date of disharge
  • acute/planned admission
  • admitted from
  • discharged to

4. Medical data

  • main diagnosis
  • secondary diagnosis
  • external cause of injury and poisoning
  • procedures


Information to NPR is delivered to the Centre for Epidemiology (EpC) at the National Board of Healt and Welfare from each of the 21 county councils in Sweden. At present, the NPR is updated once a year.

Quality of data and Reporting procedures

The drop-out rate for 2007 has been estimated to less than one percent. Rapid changes of hospitalorganisation in Sweden make it difficult to estimate the drop-out rate particularly in the areas concerning psyciatric and geriatric care.

A quality control of the NPR is performed on the register. The control which includes for example that compulsory variables like personal registration number, hospital, and main diagnosis ares reported. Furthermore is the validity of all variables values tested. If the data is obviously incorrect, correction are made. Finally the corrected information is sent back to the liable unit for approval.

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 was 2006 0.6 percent. There are some regional variation according to number of missing PNR.

Main diagnosis

In 2006 the main diagnosis was missing in 1.0 percent. Variance occur though: Psyciatric care had the highest drop-out rate 2006 (6.0) The drop-outs is generally concentrated to a few county councils.

Attached diagnosis

When an injury or poisoning diagnosis is reported an attached diagnosis is mandatory. The missing rate 2006 was 3.1 percent.


A patient can be reported as deceased or alive when discharged. During the period 1964-2003 comparison was made between number reported deceased at the NPR and the date from the Swedish Cause of Death Register (CDR). Of the total number of 1.5 million disharges during that period 97 percent had a date of discharge that differed less than three days according to CDR. In 2007 the corresponding rate was 99.9 percent.


Anders Jacobsson
075-247 30 00