Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person: A person who identifies themselves as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, or were identified by another household member. See also Indigenous.

activity: The activity being undertaken by the person when injured.

acute: A term used to describe something that comes on suddenly and is often brief, intense and severe.

acute care: Care provided to patients admitted to hospital that is intended to cure illness, alleviate symptoms of illness or manage childbirth. See also care type.

additional diagnosis: A condition or complaint either coexisting with the principal diagnosis or arising during the episode of admitted-patient care (hospitalisation), episode of residential care or attendance at a health-care establishment, that requires the provision of care. Multiple diagnoses may be recorded.

admitted patient: A patient who undergoes a hospital’s admission process to receive treatment and/or care. This treatment and/or care can occur in hospital and/or in the person’s home (for hospital-in-the-home patients).

age‑standardisation: A way to remove the influence of age when comparing rates for populations with different age structures. The age structures of the different populations are converted to the same ‘standard’ structure, and then the injury rates that would have occurred with that structure are calculated and compared.

associated causes of death: All causes listed on the death certificate, other than the underlying cause of death. They include the immediate cause, any intervening causes, and conditions that contributed to the death but were not related to the disease or condition causing the death.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Common framework defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for collecting and disseminating geographically classified statistics. See also remoteness classification.

average length of stay: The average number of patient days for admitted patient episodes. Patients who have an admission and separation on the same date are allocated a length of stay of 1 day.

burden of disease: The quantified impact of a disease, injury or risk factor on a population, using the disability-adjusted life year (DALY) measure. One DALY is one year of 'healthy life' lost due to illness and/or death. The more DALY associated with a disease or injury, the greater the burden. The DALY is produced by combining the years lived with disability and years of life lost together. People generally experience more burden as they age.

cause of death: From information reported on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (death certificate), each death is classified by an underlying cause, according to rules and conventions of the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The underlying cause is defined as the disease that initiated the train of events leading directly to death. Deaths from injury or poisoning are classified according to the circumstances of the fatal injury, rather than to the nature of the injury. See also underlying cause of death.

care type: The overall nature of a clinical service provided to an admitted patient during an episode of care (admitted care), or the type of service provided by the hospital for boarders or posthumous organ procurement (care other than admitted care).

Admitted-patient care consists of:

  • acute care
  • rehabilitation care
  • palliative care
  • geriatric evaluation and management
  • psychogeriatric care
  • maintenance care
  • newborn care with qualified days
  • other admitted-patient care – this is where the principal clinical intent does not meet the criteria for any of the above.

Care other than admitted care includes:

  • newborn care with unqualified days only
  • posthumous organ procurement
  • hospital boarder.

crude rate: The number (of hospitalisations, for example) in a given period divided by the size of the corresponding population (typically expressed per 1,000 or per 100,000 population).

disability-adjusted life year (DALY): A measure of healthy life lost, either through premature death or living with disability due to illness or injury. It is the basic unit used in burden of disease and injury estimates.

disease: A broad term that can be applied to any health problem, including symptoms, diseases, injuries and certain risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol and obesity. Often used synonymously with ‘condition’, ‘disorder’ or ‘problem’.

episode of care: The period of admitted-patient care between a formal or statistical admission and a formal or statistical separation, characterised by only 1 care type (see care type and separation).

estimated resident population (ERP): The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate of the Australian population. The ERP is derived from the 5-yearly Census counts and is updated quarterly between each Census. It is based on the usual residence of the person.

external cause: The environmental event, circumstance or condition given as the cause of injury, poisoning and other adverse effect.

health expenditure: spending on health goods and services that includes: hospitals (both public and private); primary health care; referred medical services; other services (patient transport services, aids and appliances, and administration); research; and capital expenditure.

hospital: A health‑care facility established under Commonwealth, state or territory legislation as a hospital or a free‑standing day procedure unit and authorised to provide treatment and/or care to patients.

Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD): One of the sets of Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas for ranking the average socioeconomic conditions of the population in an area. It summarises attributes of the population such as low income, low educational attainment, high unemployment and jobs in relatively unskilled occupations.

Indigenous: In most data collections, a person is considered to be Indigenous if they identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Conditions (ICD): The World Health Organization’s internationally accepted classification of diseases and related health conditions. The tenth revision (ICD-10) is used in Australia for recording the causes of death on a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The Australian modification (ICD‑10‑AM) is currently in use in Australian hospitals for recording diagnoses and procedures for admitted patients.

length of stay: calculated by subtracting the date a patient is admitted from their date of separation and deducting days they were on leave. A same‑day patient (who has an admission and separation on the same date) is allocated a length of stay of 1 day.

mode of admission: The mechanism by which a person begins an episode of admitted-patient care.

mode of separation: Status at separation (discharge/transfer/death) of a person and the place to which the person is released (where applicable).

multiple causes of death: All causes listed on the death certificate. This includes the underlying cause of death and all associated causes of death.

patient days: The total number of days for patients who were admitted for an episode of care and who separated during a specified reference period. A patient who is admitted and separates on the same day is allocated 1 patient day.

primary health care: encompasses a range of services delivered outside hospital including unreferred medical services, for example, general practitioner (GP) visits, dental, other health practitioner, pharmaceutical, and community and public health services. It is often the first point of contact a person has with the health system.

principal diagnosis: The diagnosis established, after study, to be chiefly responsible for occasioning an episode of admitted-patient care. Diagnoses are recorded using the relevant edition of the International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM).

private hospital: A privately owned and operated institution, catering for patients who are treated by a doctor of their own choice. Patients are charged fees for accommodation and other services provided by the hospital and relevant medical and allied health practitioners. Acute care and psychiatric hospitals are included, as are private free‑standing day hospital facilities.

public hospital: A hospital controlled by a state or territory health authority. In Australia, public hospitals offer free diagnostic services, treatment, care and accommodation to all eligible patients.

remoteness classification: Each state and territory is divided into several regions based on their relative accessibility to goods and services (such as general practitioners, hospitals, and specialist care), as measured by road distance. These regions are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia and defined as remoteness areas by either the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (before 2011) or the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (from 2011 onwards) in each Census year. The five remoteness areas are Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote and Very remote.

same‑day patient: An admitted patient who is admitted and separates on the same date.

separation: The formal process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care either by being discharged, dying, transferring to another hospital or changing type of care.

socioeconomic areas: Based on the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage, part of the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) created from Census data, which aims to represent the socioeconomic position of Australian communities and reflect the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population in an area.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA): A set of indexes, created from Census data, that aim to represent the socioeconomic position of Australian communities and identify areas of advantage and disadvantage. The index value reflects the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population of an area; it does not show how individuals living in the same area differ from each other in their socioeconomic group.

underlying cause of death: The disease or injury that initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to a person's death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury.

usual residence: The area of the address at which the person lived or intended to live, for 6 months or more before hospitalisation or death.

years lived with disability (YLD): The number of years of what could have been a healthy life that were instead spent in states of less than full health.

years of life lost (YLL): The number of years of life lost due to premature death, defined as dying before the ideal life span.