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Standard Analysis Files (SAFs)

The USRDS Coordinating Center maintains a set of Standard Analysis Files (SAFs) that provide patient- and facility-specific data from the USRDS database to support research on patients with kidney disease. The SAFs, which provide easy access to data used in the Annual Data Report (ADR) analyses and reference tables, can meet the majority of research needs. Researchers who need to link outside cohorts to the USRDS database can request approval from the USRDS Contracting Officer Representatives (COR) at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for a data merge. This process is described in more detail on our merged data request page.

The Core set of SAFs contains basic patient data and is required to use other SAFs. Core SAF's include each patient’s demographic information, payer and treatment history, limited transplant data, provider data, and data from many of the USRDS Special Studies. Approximately half of all researchers using the USRDS SAFs need only these datasets. The Transplant dataset contains detailed transplant and transplant follow-up data collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Data on hospital inpatient stays are found in the Hospital dataset. Medicare billing data are available by individual year and by selecting the Institutional, Physician/Supplier, or part D files.

To request SAFs, researchers should submit a Research Proposal, documentation of approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and a completed Agreement for Release of Data to the USRDS CC. The USRDS CC will send this material to the USRDS COR (NIDDK) for review and possible approval, and SAFs will be distributed to the researcher when approval is granted. Please note that the Data Use Agreement (DUA) is not changeable.

Submit SAFs Request

Standard Data Request Forms

USRDS SAF Dataset Agreement for Release of Data (PDF)

Outline for Research Proposals Using USRDS Data (PDF)

More information is provided in the Researcher's Guide to the USRDS Database.