OSR – episodes of care

In 2022–23, organisations provided around 3.7 million episodes of care (Figure 1). The number of episodes of care decreased by 8% between 2021–22 and 2022–23. This was mostly a result of the large (24%) decrease in episodes of care for non-Indigenous clients and likely reflects the jump in non-Indigenous clients seeking COVID-related services in 2021–22 followed by a return to a more ‘normal’ service provision the following year.

Episode of care

An episode of care is a contact between a client and one or more health workers in an organisation in one calendar day. All contacts with the same client on the same day are counted as one episode of care only, but if more than one health worker sees that client in the same day (for example, both a nurse and doctor see the same client) then one episode of care will count as multiple client contacts. An episode of care may be provided by employed or visiting health staff, either on site or off site, and includes outreach, hospital contact with clients, telephone contacts of a clinical nature, care delivered over the phone which results in an update to a client’s record and other clinical consultations. Episodes of care do not include administrative contacts or those relating to groups and residential care.

Figure 1: Episodes of care by reporting period

Episodes of care by reporting period

This Tableau visualisation shows the number of episodes of care for reporting periods 2018–19 to 2022–23 by either:

  • type of organisation (ACCHO, non-ACCHO)
  • remoteness area (Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote)
  • state/territory (NSW/ACT, Vic, Qld, WA, SA, Tas, NT)
  • First Nations status (First Nations, non-Indigenous, unknown
  • sex (male, female, unknown).

Data supporting this visualisation are available in Excel supplementary data tables at Data.

Note: For more information, including on interpreting changes over time, see Technical notes.

Of episodes of care:

  • 88% (or around 3.3 million) were provided by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs)
  • 23% (or around 853,000) were provided in Inner regional areas, 23% (844,000) in Major cities, 19% (711,000) in Outer regional areas, 18% (665,000) in Very remote areas and 17% (638,000) in Remote areas
  • 59% (or around 2.2 million) were with female clients
  • 86% (or around 3.2 million) were with First Nations clients.

There were an average of 7.3 episodes of care per client.

For more information on episodes of care see Data.