The NMDS (injury surveillance) is a set of data items and classifications designed to provide the information most necessary for basic, routine public health surveillance of injury. It is intended for use in a wide range of settings in which information necessary for injury surveillance is collected. The experience gained in using the Injury Surveillance Information Sydtem (ISIS), developed by the National Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project in a large number of hospital emergency departments during several years has been taken into account in designing the NMDS (injury surveillance).

The most important reason for the development of the NMDS (injury surveillance) is to provide a standard for injury surveillance information, to facillitate the comparisons between data sources, regions and times.