Postal Code field

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Data Element (edit)
Field Name: PostalCode
CCMDB Label: Postal Code
CCMDB tab: Dispo
Table: L_Log table
Data type: string
Length: 6
Program: Med and CC
Created/Raw: Raw
Start Date: 2012-01-01
End Date: 2300-01-01
Sort Index: 33

The patient's postal code.

  • SMW

Legacy implementation right in the table

  • Cargo

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  • Forms

The Postal_Code field can be edited in the Dispo tab. A postal code is collected for all patients admitted to a hospital within the WRHA. The postal code collected is from the address that a person permanently resides in any Province in Canada.

  • Julie has found inconsistencies between PCs for consecutive admissions. We know that PCs that come in from Cognos are often found to change in EMR during the admission, and (some? all?) collectors change them to the final PC as found in EMR. We need to decide how we want to define PCs with regard to those changes to make sure we provide data that is consistent and defined in the way that is most useful for our reporting purposes.

We could define Postal Code as "on admission" or "on discharge". That would depend how we plan to use it. Do we care where someone came from, or do we use this with regard to discharge difficulties? If someone comes from Ashern, is in hospital for 3 months, and moves their home address to a care home in Winnipeg before discharge… what do we want to have in our DB? The original Cognos PC would be easiest and most consistent. But then we may not be able to use the PC for discharge based concepts. Or maybe we can, since the number of affected records might be small. I wonder if we should do a short term project where collectors enter when a PC changes from original Cognos import before discharge. A count would tell us how common this situation is, and help us decide how to proceed. It could be just documenting that we use initial PC and have found that a percentage of ??? changes during the hospital stay. Or it could be a change in definition. For discussion at task meeting, but please add observations here if you have any. Ttenbergen 10:05, 2023 November 5 (CST)

  • My thoughts - we can revise our Postal Code definition as 'on admission' onwards and if the user who asks it does not agree with ours, then the user can choose to get it from somewhere else. This data is very seldom asked so let us not add more work on it. Let us just standardize it or make it consistent by using one source of data and decide which source to use COGNOS or EMR? --JMojica 09:35, 2023 November 6 (CST)
    • Occasionally during chart review it is noted that a listed address is no longer valid, or the postal code entered in EPR for an address is incorrect. When this happens, should the postal code be corrected by collectors? Pamela Piche 09:47, 2023 November 6 (CST)
      • Just curious, how do you correct such case and where do you find the correct postal code - do you google? --JMojica 10:03, 2023 November 6 (CST)
        • For example, I will occasionally look up addresses on google to help determine whether apartment vs community facility with support and a postal code discrepancy is discovered. Occasionally a PCH is listed without an address or missing postal code and I look these up on google also. Pamela Piche 10:18, 2023 November 6 (CST)
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Collection Instruction

Enter the Postal code

  • no space
  • upper case letters
  • example only: X0X0X0

When the postal code is not available (e.g. John or Jane Doe patient or chart doesn't have postal code) enter "N/A" or click the "N/A" button to enter it for you.

Don't trust Postal Codes from Cognos

Don't trust the postal codes that come from Cognos2, we know that the codes in the data dump can be wrong anc change from day to day, and have been unable get a fix from Decision Support Services. Confirm Postal Codes in EPR and enter the code from EPR if different from Cognos.

Special Cases

Homeless with proxy address

If you have a homeless person admitted who lists their address as Siloam Mission or the Salvation Army/Booth's Place, use that place's postal code as provided.

Code "couch surfers" as "N/A".

Institutionalized patients

For institutionalized patients (e.g. Prison / Jail / Correctional Institution inmates, care homes), use the institution's postal code.

Out-of-Country patients

Our cross checks would flag the format of out-of-country postal codes, so enter "N/A" for these.

International Students

If they have an address in the Province, enter it, otherwise treat them as #Out-of-Country patients.

Relationship between Province, PHIN and Postal code

When collecting Postal Code, PHIN number and Province, think about the relationship of this information when you are collecting it.

  • if patient has a MB PHIN number, then Province code should be MB and the postal code should be for MB (MB postal codes start with an "R").
  • if Province code is not MB then the postal code should not be a MB postal code and also, there should not be an PHIN number.

Data Use

Postal Codes are used group patients geographically for purposes such as:

  • distribution of patients by MB RHAs outside of Winnipeg
  • linking to Stats Canada for socioeconomic stratification of population by geographic area
  • cross-checking our data's Province field for out-of-province patients

Data Integrity Checks (automatic list)

Check pre acute consistentCCMDB.accdbdeclined
Check Function Validate PostalCodeCCMDB.accdbimplemented
Query NDC Bad Postal CodeCentralized data front end.accdbimplemented
Query NDC Postal Code over timeCentralized data front end.accdbimplemented

table Postal_Code_Master

This is the table that postal codes get checked again. It includes the MB RHA that a postal code is affiliated with. For the MB component we imported a version provided by Marc Silva to p:Julie Mojica 2016-09-08. The country-wide component was based on an older table I think we go it from Stats Can.

Start/end Dates

Start Date: new admissions on and after January 1, 2012 End Date: None / Permanent Collection

Wikipedia Postal codes listings across Canada

Wikipedia, Postal codes in Canada

Related Articles

Related articles:


Data started out being collected in the tmp field until June 1, 2016. The Postal Code from tmp populated the PostalCode field of Centralized_data on Jun 22, 2016.