Glossary

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: A person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. See also Indigenous.

acute: Having a short and relatively severe course.

acute care: See care type.

acute care hospital: See establishment type.

additional diagnosis: A condition or complaint either coexisting with the principal diagnosis or arising during the episode of admitted-patient care, episode of residential care or attendance at a health-care establishment. METeOR identifier: 514271.

admitted patient: A patient who undergoes a hospital’s admission process to receive treatment and/or care. This treatment and/or care is provided over a period of time and can occur in hospital and/or in the person’s home (for hospital-in-the-home patients). METeOR identifier: 268957.

age-specific rate: See crude rate

age‑standardisation: A set of techniques used to remove, as far as possible, the effects of differences in age when comparing 2 or more populations.

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.

cause of death: From information reported on the medical certificate of cause of death, each death is classified by the underlying cause of death, 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). METeOR identifier: 491557.

Admitted-patient care consists of:

  • acute care
  • rehabilitation care
  • palliative care
  • geriatric evaluation and management
  • psychogeriatric care
  • maintenance care
  • newborn care
  • 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:

  • posthumous organ procurement
  • hospital boarder.

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

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). METeOR identifier: 491557 (Care type). METeOR identifier: 268956 (Episode of admitted-patient care).

estimated resident population: Official population numbers compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics at both state and territory and statistical local area levels, by age and by sex, at 30 June each year. These estimates allow comparisons to be made between geographical areas of differing population sizes and age structures.

external cause: The environmental event, circumstance or condition given as the cause of injury, poisoning and other adverse effect. METeOR identifier: 514295.

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. METeOR identifier: 268971.

inpatient: See admitted patient. METeOR identifier: 268957.

Indigenous: A person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. See also Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

International 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, Australian modification (ICD‑10‑AM), is currently in use in Australian hospitals for admitted patients.

length of stay: The length of stay of an overnight patient is calculated by subtracting the date the patient is admitted from the date of separation and deducting days the patient was on leave. A same‑day patient is allocated a length of stay of 1 day. METeOR identifier: 269982.

mode of admission: The mechanism by which a person begins an episode of admitted-patient care. METeOR identifier: 269976.

mode of separation: Status at separation (discharge/transfer/death) of a person and the place to which the person is released (where applicable). METeOR identifier: 270094.

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 but separates on the same day is allocated 1 patient day. METeOR identifier: 270045.

principal diagnosis: The diagnosis established, after study, to be chiefly responsible for occasioning an episode of admitted-patient care. METeOR identifier: 514273.

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 paramedical 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. Public hospitals offer free diagnostic services, treatment, care and accommodation to all eligible patients.

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

separation: An episode of care for an admitted patient, which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death) or a portion of a stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation). ‘Separation’ also means the 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.

separations: The total number of episodes of care for admitted patients, which can be total hospital stays (from admission to discharge, transfer or death) or portions of hospital stays beginning or ending in a change of type of care (for example, from acute to rehabilitation) that cease during a reference period. METeOR identifier: 270407.

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.

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.