What procedures were performed?
Box 3: Understanding the classification of hospital procedures
A procedure is a clinical intervention that is surgical in nature, carries an anaesthetic risk, requires specialised training and/or requires special facilities or services available only in an acute care setting. Procedures therefore encompass surgical procedures and non-surgical investigative and therapeutic procedures, such as x-rays. Patient support interventions that are neither investigative nor therapeutic (such as anaesthesia) are also included.
One or more procedures can be reported for each hospital admission, but procedures are not undertaken for all admissions, so only some records include information on procedures.
In 2014–15, procedures were reported for hospital patients using the Eighth edition of the Australian Classification of Health Interventions (ACHI) that groups together similar interventions.
The ACHI classification is divided into 20 chapters by anatomical site, and within each chapter by a 'superior' to 'inferior' (head to toe) approach. These subchapters are further divided into more specific procedure blocks, ordered from the least invasive to the most invasive. The blocks, which are numbered sequentially, group the very specific procedure information.
In 2014–15, more than three-quarters (79%, 171,945) of procedures reported for patients who died in hospital were Non-invasive, cognitive and other interventions (such as diagnostic, therapeutic, anaesthesia, pharmacotherapy and allied health interventions) compared to 53% (10,889,651 procedures) for all patients. Procedures on respiratory system were also proportionally more common among patients who died in hospital (8%, 17,412) than among all patients (1%, 217,719) (Figure 15).
Figure 15: Proportion of separations by ACHI procedure chapters for all separations and deaths in hospital, 2014–15, per cent
Note: n.e.c. not elsewhere classified.
Examining specific procedures blocks, in 2014–15 more than half (57%, 124,681) of all procedures for patients who died in hospital were Generalised allied health interventions (such as social work, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pastoral care and pharmacy).
The second most common group for patients who died in hospital was Administration of blood and blood products (8.5%, 18,596). Respiratory support in the form of Ventilatory support and Non-invasive ventilatory support together represented 5.9% (12,974) of procedures for patients who died in hospital (Figure 16).
Figure 16: The 10 most common procedure blocks (excluding Generalised allied health interventions) reported for separations that ended in death, 2014–15, per cent