Introduction

Non-admitted patient care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics focuses on information about services provided for non-admitted patients by Australia’s public hospitals. It continues the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) Australian hospital statistics series of reports describing the characteristics and activity of Australia’s hospitals.

Australia’s public hospitals provide a range of services for:

  • non-admitted patients, including:
    • outpatient clinics—38.9 million service events reported in 2017–18, (this report)
    • emergency department services—8.0 million presentations in 2017–18 (AIHW 2018)
    • dispensing of medicines
    • district nursing
    • community health services.
  • admitted patients—including maternity services, and medical and surgical services—6.7 million separations in 2017–18 (AIHW 2019).

This report describes non-admitted patient care provided in 2017–18 in public hospital outpatient clinics—at which patients consult specialist medical practitioners, or have diagnostic or other procedures, or are provided with allied health or specialist nursing care, without being admitted to hospital.

Information about admitted patient care and non-admitted patient care provided in emergency departments, the dispensing of medicines to patients not admitted to the hospital, and district nursing and community health services is not included in this report.

Data sources

This report draws on the following AIHW data sources:

  • National Non-admitted Patient Care Database (NNAPC(agg)D)— based on data provided for the Non-admitted patient care National Minimum Data Set (NAPC NMDS) and for the Non-admitted patient care local hospital network aggregate National Best Endeavours Data Set (NAPCLHN NBEDS).
  • National Non-admitted Patient (episode-level) Database NNAP(el)D)— based on data provided for the Non-admitted patient National Best Endeavours Data Set (NAP NBEDS).

For 2017–18, episode-level data (NNAP(el)D) were provided for 72% of total activity reported for the NNAPC(agg)D (see Table 1 below).

Terms relevant to non-admitted patient care data are summarised in the Glossary, with additional information in Appendix B.

Data limitations

Changes to the collection of non-admitted patient care over time mean that these data are not comparable over time. For information on these changes, data quality information relevant to the two data sources used in this report, and other limitations on the data, see Appendix A.

Where to go for more information

More detailed information on coverage of the episode-level data by funding designation of the hospital is in Table S1.1, available to download in the Data section.

See Table S1.1 for caveat information relevant to these data. Available to download in the data section.

References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2018. Emergency department care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics. Health services series no. 89. Cat. no. HSE 216. Canberra: AIHW.

AIHW 2019. Admitted patient care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics. Health services series no. 90. Cat. no. HSE 225. Canberra: AIHW.