• Print

NHMD–overview

  • The NHMD is compiled from data supplied by the state and territory health authorities. It is a collection of electronic confidentialised summary records for separations (that is, episodes of care) in public and private hospitals in Australia.
  • Data are held for the years 1993-94 to 2012–13.
  • Almost all hospitals in Australia are included in the database: public acute and public psychiatric hospitals, private acute and psychiatric hospitals, and private free standing day hospital facilities. Coverage has varied over time, see Additional information and limitations
  • For 2012–13, about 9.4 million separations were reported to the NHMD for both public and private hospitals.
  • Diagnoses, procedures and external causes of injury are recorded using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and related Health Problems, Tenth revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM). 
  • The National health data dictionary definitions form the basis of the database, ensuring a high standard of data comparability.

Publications

The annual Australian hospital statistics reports on hospital activity and operations have included analyses of the majority of the data elements included in this collection since 1993-94. The series can be accessed at the Australian hospital statistics page.

Main data elements in the NHMD

The data elements included in the NHMD are based on the National Minimum Data Set for Admitted Patient Care in METeOR Admitted patient care NMDS 2012-13.

Establishment data

  • State or territory of the hospital
  • Sector (public, private)
  • Remoteness Area of the hospital (from 2000-01).

Demographic data

  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Age group (in 5-year groups)
  • Indigenous status
  • Area of residence of the patient
  • Remoteness Area of patient's residence (from 2000-01).

Administrative data

  • Funding source
  • Urgency of admission

Length of stay data

  • Admission and separation dates
  • Leave days
  • Same day flag (to indicate separation/discharge on the same day as admission)

Clinical and related data

  • Principal diagnosis (the diagnosis established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the patient's episode of care in hospital)
  • Additional diagnoses (for example, co-existing conditions and/or complications)
  • Procedures (surgical and non-surgical)
  • Major Diagnostic Category (MDC) and Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group (AR-DRG)
  • Care type (for example acute, rehabilitation, palliative, newborn)
  • Admission mode
  • Separation mode (status at separation: discharge/transfer/death and place to which person is released)
  • External causes of injury or poisoning, place of occurrence of external cause and activity when injured.

For further information on diagnoses, procedures, external causes of injury and Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups, as well as the version used for each collection year see Coded clinical data.

Some of the information available in the NHMD is presented through hospitals data cubes. They contain information for:

  • Principal diagnosis, from 1993-94
  • Diagnosis related groups, from 1997-98
  • Procedures, from 2001-02.

Additional information and limitations

  • The term 'separation' refers to the episode of care, which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death), or a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation). A record is included for each separation, not for each patient. So patients who separate more than once have more than one record in the database.
  • The actual definitions used by the data providers may vary from year to year and between jurisdictions and sectors. Comparisons between the states and territories, reporting years and hospital sectors should be therefore made with caution.
  • The major exceptions within the public sector are hospitals operated by the Department of Defence, correctional facilities and hospitals located in off-shore territories. There are also some exceptions within the private sector. The scope of the data collection has also varied from year to year. Comparisons between the states and territories, reporting years and hospital sectors should be therefore made with caution.
  • Data on state of hospitalisation should be interpreted with caution because of cross-border flows of patients. This is particularly the case for the Australian Capital Territory. In 2012-13, about 18% of separations for Australian Capital Territory hospitals were for patients who resided in New South Wales.
  • Over recent years, at the national level there have been slightly fewer separations reported to the NHMD (particularly for private free-standing day hospital facilities) than to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Private Health Establishments Collection. The latter collection includes all private acute and psychiatric hospitals licensed by state and territory health authorities and all private free-standing day hospital facilities approved by the Department of Health and Ageing.

Scope of the database

The National Hospital Morbidity Database includes data from public acute, public psychiatric hospitals, private acute and psychiatric hospitals, and private free standing day hospital facilities and, until 1997-98, Department of Veterans' Affairs hospitals.

Exceptions within the public sector are public hospitals not within the jurisdiction of a State or Territory health authority or the Department of Veterans' Affairs (that is, hospitals operated by the Department of Defence, for example, and hospitals located in off-shore territories). In addition data are not available for some years for a few small public hospitals in some jurisdictions (detailed below).

In the private sector data are not available for some years for a few small private hospitals and free-standing day hospital facilities in some jurisdictions (detailed below).

A different methodology for collecting information on the scope was used from 1998-99 compared with earlier years. Therefore, the information below for 2002-03, 2001-02, 2000-01, 1999-00 and 1998-99 is likely to be more accurate than that provided for the earlier years, especially for private hospitals.

2012-13

  • Coverage for the NHMD is essentially complete. For 2012-13, all public hospitals were included except for a small mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Private hospital data were not provided for private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and a private free-standing day hospital in Victoria.

2011-12

  • Coverage for the NHMD is essentially complete. For 2011-12, all public hospitals were included except for a small mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Private hospital data were not provided for private freestanding day facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

2010-11

  • Coverage for the NHMD is essentially complete. For 2010-11, all public hospitals were included except for a small mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Private hospital data were not provided for private freestanding day facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, and a small private hospital in Victoria.

2009-10

  • Coverage for the NHMD is essentially complete. For 2009-10, all public hospitals were included except for a small mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Western Australia was not able to provide about 2,400 separations for one public hospital. Private hospital data were not provided for private freestanding day facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, and a small private hospital in Victoria. In addition, Western Australia was not able to provide about 10,600 separations for one private hospital.

2008-09

  • Coverage for the NHMD is essentially complete. For 2008-09, all public hospitals were included except for a small mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Private hospital data were not provided for private freestanding day facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, and for one private freestanding day facility in Tasmania.
  • Hospitals may be re-categorised as public or private between or within years. Appendix 2 of Australian Hospital Statistics 2008-09 presents information on coverage, hospital amalgamations, and re-categorisation as public and/or public.

2007-08

  • All public hospitals were included for 2007-08. The exception was a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • The great majority of private hospitals were also included, although there were a few not included, mainly free-standing day hospital facilities. Data were not provided for 2007-08 for private day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, for the single private free-standing day hospital facility in the Northern Territory and for a small private hospital in Victoria. Victoria estimated that its data were essentially complete. Counts of private hospital separations presented in this report are therefore likely to be underestimates of the actual counts.

2006-07

  • Public sector hospitals that are not included are those not within the jurisdiction of a state or territory health authority (hospitals operated by the Department of Defence or correctional authorities, for example, and hospitals located in offshore territories). In addition, for 2006-07, data were not supplied for a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Within the private sector, data were not provided for 2006-07 for private day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, for the single private free-standing day hospital facility in the Northern Territory and for a very small private hospital in Victoria. Victoria estimated that its data were essentially complete. For Tasmania, some private hospital data were not available for some periods in 2004-05, resulting in an under-enumeration of approximately 21% for Tasmanian private hospitals. Data for private hospitals in Tasmania were essentially complete in 2005-06 and 2006-07.

2005-06

  • Public sector hospitals that are not included are those not within the jurisdiction of a state or territory health authority (hospitals operated by the Department of Defence or correctional authorities, for example, and hospitals located in offshore territories). In addition, for 2005-06, data were not supplied for a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and five small hospitals in New South Wales.
  • Within the private sector, data were not provided for 2005-06 for all private day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, for the single private free-standing day hospital facility in the Northern Territory and for a very small private hospital in Victoria. Victoria estimated that it's data were essentially complete. For Tasmania, some private hospital data were not available for some periods in 2004-05, resulting in an under-enumeration of approximately 21% for Tasmanian private hospitals. Data for private hospitals in Tasmania were essentially complete in 2005-06.

2004-05

  • Public sector hospitals that are not included are those not within the jurisdiction of a state or territory health authority (hospitals operated by the Department of Defence or correctional authorities, for example, and hospitals located in offshore territories). In addition, for 2004-05, data were not supplied for a Mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and two tiny hospitals in New South Wales.
  • Within the private sector, data were not provided for 2004-05 for all private day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and for the single private free-standing day hospital facility in the Northern Territory. For Victoria, data were not provided for a very small private hospital and a hospital that was opening. Victoria estimated that their data was essentially complete. For Tasmania, some private hospital data were not available for some periods, resulting in an under-enumeration of approximately 21% for Tasmanian private hospitals.

2003-04

  • Public sector hospitals that are not included are those not within the jurisdiction of a state or territory health authority (hospitals operated by the Department of Defence or correctional authorities, for example, and hospitals located in offshore territories). In addition, for 2003-04, data were not supplied for a Mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and one tiny rural hospital in Victoria. For New South Wales, two hospitals (Port Macquarie and Hawkesbury Base) which had been categorised as private hospitals in 2002-03, were re-categorised as public hospitals for 2003-04.
  • Within the private sector, data were not provided for 2003-04 for all private day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and for the single Free-standing day hospital facility in the Northern Territory. For Victoria, data were not provided for four Free-standing day hospital facilitiesand five Other privatehospitals and coverage was estimated to be under-enumerated by 0.3% overall. For South Australia, data were not available for one small Other privatehospital for one month, and for one small Free-standing day hospital facilityfor one month. The South Australian Health Department advised that data coverage was essentially complete. For Tasmania, data were not available for one Other private hospital.

2002-03

  • Public sector hospitals that were not included were a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory, a small rural hospital in New South Wales and a dental hospital in Victoria.
  • Private sector hospitals that were not included were 3 free-standing day hospital facilities and 3 other private hospitals in Victoria and some other private hospitals in Victoria were unable to submit complete data. Data were also not included for all private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, and the private free-standing hospital in the Northern Territory. For South Australia, data were not available for one private free-standing day hospital facility for one month. For Tasmania, data were not available for one small free-standing day hospital facility.

2001-02

  • Public sector hospitals that were not included were a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Private sector hospitals that were not included were 5 free-standing day hospital facilities and 3 other private hospitals in Victoria (some other private hospitals in Victoria were unable to submit complete data), all private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, and the private hospital and the private free-standing hospital in the Northern Territory. For South Australia, data were not available for one private free-standing day hospital facility and were missing for January 2002 for another. Data were also missing for February to June 2002 for one private hospital (non-day only) and for January 2002 for another private hospital in South Australia.

2000-01

  • Public sector hospitals that were not included were one small 'outpatient clinic' in Queensland, a small rural hospital and a forensic hospital in Tasmania, and a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory. Private sector hospitals that were not included were 11 free-standing day hospital facilities in Victoria, all private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, and the one private hospital in the Northern Territory. For South Australia, data were not available for one private free-standing day hospital facility and were missing for January to June 2001 for another, and for May to June 2001 for one private hospital (non-day only). Data have only been provided for the periods from August 2000 to June 2001, January 2001 to June 2001 and April 2001 to June 2001 respectively for three other South Australian private free-standing day hospital facilities.

1999-00

  • Public sector hospitals that were not included were one small 'outpatient clinic' in Queensland, a forensic hospital in Tasmania, and a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Private sector hospitals that were not included were 17 free-standing day hospital facilities and one other private hospital in Victoria, all private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory, and the one private hospital in the Northern Territory. For South Australia, data were not available for three private free-standing day hospital facilities (one of which commenced operation in September 1999) and data were missing for March to June 2000, for May to June 2000 and for June 2000, respectively, for three others. For Tasmania, data were not available for one private free-standing day hospital facility and one other private hospital, and were missing for April to June 2000, December 1999 to June 2000, January and February 2000 and June 2000, respectively, for four other private hospitals.

1998-99

  • Public sector hospitals that were not included were one small outpatient clinic' in Queensland, a forensic hospital in Tasmania, and a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Private sector hospitals that were not included were 12 private free-standing day hospital facilities and one other private hospital in Victoria, three private free-standing day hospital facilities in South Australia, one private free-standing day hospital facility and four other private hospitals in Tasmania, six private free-standing day hospital facilities and one private hospital in the Australian Capital Territory, and the one private hospital in the Northern Territory. In addition, about 5.6% of private hospital separations data for Western Australia were not included (mainly for hospitals other than free-standing day
    hospital facilities).

1997-98

  • In 1997-98, public hospital data were not available for a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory, one small outpatient clinic' in Queensland and most separations for three small district public hospitals in Tasmania.
  • In the private sector, about 4,500 hospital separations were not included for NSW private hospitals, and separations were not available for two private free-standing day hospital facilities and one other private hospital in Tasmania, private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the private hospital in the Northern Territory.

1996-97

  • In 1996-97 public hospital data were incomplete for three small district public hospitals in Tasmania, and were not available for some lodges attached to public hospitals in Western Australia and a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory.
  • In the private sector, separations were not available for private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the private hospital in the Northern Territory.

1995-96

  • In 1995-96 public hospital data were incomplete for three small district public hospitals in Tasmania, and were not available for some lodges attached to public hospitals in Western Australia, a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and for public psychiatric hospitals in Queensland.
  • In the private sector, separations were not available for private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the private hospital in the Northern Territory. In addition, data for one of the private hospitals in the Australian Capital Territory were only supplied for the final 9 months of the year.

1994-95

  • In 1994-95 public hospital data were incomplete for three small district public hospitals in Tasmania, and were not available for some lodges attached to public hospitals in Western Australia, a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and for public psychiatric hospitals in all jurisdictions.
  • In the private sector, separations were not available for private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the private hospital in the Northern Territory. In addition, about 2% of separations from Victorian private hospitals were not included.

1993-94

  • In 1993-94 public hospital data were not available for some lodges attached to public hospitals in Western Australia, a mothercraft hospital in the Australian Capital Territory and for public psychiatric hospitals in all jurisdictions.
  • In the private sector, separations were not available for private free-standing day hospital facilities in the Australian Capital Territory and the private hospital in the Northern Territory. In addition, about 19% of separations from Victorian private hospitals were not included.

Requesting data from the NHMD

Extracts from the NHMD may be provided on request. A charge may apply. The amount charged will depend on the extract requirements and the complexity of the analysis undertaken.

Confidentialised data based on records included in the collection are available for a range of health service research and planning purposes.

To request data fromt his collection please contact the AIHW.

Note

  • Date of birth: Generally only provided under special circumstances and is not available for all jurisdictions for each year
  • State and local area of residence: level of detail required can be discussed
  • Admission and separation dates: not generally released by jurisdictions. However, month/year of admission and separation/discharge may be released
  • Patient identifier: is not provided.