Featured reports

Emergency department care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics 

Emergency department care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics presents information on care provided in public hospital emergency departments between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. It includes information on overall activity, nationally agreed performance indicators on waiting times for care, time spent in the ED, and other waiting times statistics. It also includes comparative information for the previous 4 reporting periods.

Latest reports

Drug related hospitalisations 

Information on hospitalisations is taken from the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD).

In 2016-17 there were about 11.0 million separations (episodes of admitted patient care) in Australia’s public and private hospitals.

137,000 hospital separations with a drug-related principal diagnosis were reported in 2016–17, representing 1.2% of all hospital separations, and Alcohol accounted for 51% of all drug-related hospital separations.

Transition between hospital and community care for patients with coronary heart disease: New South Wales and Victoria 2012–2015 

This report examined the health services used by more than 37,300 people with coronary heart disease (CHD) who were discharged from a public hospital in New South Wales or Victoria between April 2012 and June 2013. The report analysed linked de-identified hospitalisation data to Medicare Benefits Schedule data and National Death Index data.

The report shows that the vast majority of CHD patients visited their General Practitioner (GP) within 30 days of being discharged from hospital and that they had, on average, 1 or 2 visits per month during a two year follow-up timeframe. Timely and regular contact with a GP were associated with lower risk of having an emergency re-admission to hospital for cardiovascular disease.

MyHospitals: Waiting times for elective surgery in 2017–18 

This MyHospitals web update presents information on elective surgery waiting times by urgency category for 261 Australian public hospitals in 2017–18. Information on waiting times is also available by the specialty of surgeons performing elective surgery and for selected procedures.

MyHospitals: Time spent in emergency departments in 2017–18 

This MyHospitals web update presents emergency department information for 286 Australian public hospitals in 2017–18. Results include emergency department waiting times and the percentage of patients leaving the emergency department within four hours. The accompanying interactive data tool can be used to see how public hospitals compare against other similar hospitals for a range of measures, including waiting times and the percentage of patients departing emergency departments within four hours.

Electrical injuries, deaths and hospitalisations 2014–15 and 2015–16 

A total of 1,065 people hospitalised between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2016 had sustained an electrical injury, and 55 people died as a result of electrocution or lightning strike. Almost half of people hospitalised with an electrical injury occurred while the person was in paid work (497 cases or 47%), and a further 150 people sustained an electrical injury while doing unpaid work (14%).

Use of emergency department data to enhance routine injury surveillance: technical report, 2013–14 

This report examines routinely collected national data on injury cases that attended a public hospital emergency department in Australia in 2013–14 and describes and illustrates possible applications of the data for injury surveillance. Use of different coding systems made identification of injury cases difficult in some instances. The data did not include a field for external cause of injury which markedly reduced the value of the data for injury surveillance. Despite these limitations, and while linked data studies are needed to provide a more complete assessment of emergency department injury data, the results reported here nevertheless suggest that the source has value for injury surveillance.

MyHospitals: Costs of acute admitted patients in public hospitals from 2012–13 to 2014–15 

This MyHospitals report shows variation in the average cost of delivering similar services to similar patients across public hospitals in 2014–15. The average cost of care (per National Weighted Activity Unit) ranged from $3,300 to $6,400. The report also reveals how these costs have changed at each hospital over three financial years.

In addition to the In Focus report, this release includes an online interactive data tool, a downloadable excel data file and an accompanying technical supplement.

A potentially preventable hospitalisation indicator specific to general practice  

This exploration of potentially preventable hospitalisations focuses on conditions that may be prevented or managed best by general practice to minimise likelihood of admission. The proposed specification was developed in conjunction with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners with a view to use as a flexible reporting and education tool for care improvement. Feedback is sought for this proposed specification.

Radiotherapy in Australia 2016–17 

In 2016–17, over 63,500 courses of radiotherapy were delivered in Australia. 50% of all radiotherapy patients started treatment within 9 days, and 90% within 26 days. For those who needed emergency treatment (1.5% of courses), almost 95% began treatment within the recommended timeframe—on the same or the next day.

Principal Diagnosis data cubes 

The principal diagnosis is defined as the diagnosis established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the patient’s episode of care in hospital. In some cases, the principal diagnosis is described in terms of a treatment for an ongoing condition (for example, same-day care for dialysis).

Procedures data cubes 

A procedure is defined as a clinical intervention that is surgical in nature, carries a procedural risk, carries an anaesthetic risk, requires specialised training, and/or requires special facilities or equipment only available in an acute care setting. Procedures therefore encompass surgical procedures and also non-surgical investigative and therapeutic procedures.

Australian refined diagnosis-related groups (AR-DRG) data cubes 

Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (AR-DRGs) is an Australian admitted patient classification system which provides a clinically meaningful way of relating the number and type of patients treated in a hospital (known as hospital casemix) to the resources required by the hospital. Each AR-DRG represents a class of patients with similar clinical conditions requiring similar hospital services.

Hospitalised injury due to land transport crashes 

This fact sheet focuses on hospitalised cases where a person was injured in an unintentional crash involving types of transport that operate on land. In 2014–15, nearly 57,000 people were hospitalised as the result of injuries sustained in land transport crashes. Of the cases where the crash location was specified, around 36,000 (64%) occurred in on-road crashes, and over 14,000 (26%) happened off-road. 

The fact sheet contains information about hospitalised injury cases due to land-transport crashes, particularly those that occurred on-road. This includes characteristics such as age and sex, type of road user and the main body regions affected.

Australia's hospitals at a glance 2016–17 

Australia’s hospitals 2016–17 at a glance provides summary information on Australia’s public and private hospitals. In 2016–17, there were 11.0 million hospitalisations in public and private hospitals combined, including 2.7 million involving surgery. Public hospitals also provided care for 7.8 million patients presenting to emergency departments, with 73% of patients seen within recommended times for their triage category and 72% completed within 4 hours. This publication is a companion to the 2016–17 Australian hospital statistics suite of publications.

Hospital resources 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics 

In 2016–17:

  • there were 695 public hospitals in Australia, providing about two-thirds (62,000) of all hospital beds
  • total recurrent expenditure on public hospital services was $67 billion. About 66% of total recurrent expenditure (excluding depreciation) was for salaries, wages and superannuation. Medical, surgical and drug supplies accounted for 13% and administrative expenses accounted for a further 5%.
  • 365,000 full-time equivalent staff were employed in providing public hospital services. About 41% of staff were Nurses (151,000) and 12% were Salaried medical officers (44,000).

Non-admitted patient care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics 

In 2016–17, public hospital services provided about 36.7 million non-admitted patient service events, including:

  • 16.2 million service events in allied health and/or clinical nurse specialists clinics
  • 11.7 million service events in medical consultation clinics
  • 3.0 million service events in procedural clinics.

Admitted patient care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics 

In 2016–17, there were more than 11 million admissions to hospital—6.6 million in public hospitals and 4.4 million in private hospitals.

In public hospitals, a large proportion of admissions (43%) were considered emergencies, while in private hospitals admissions were more likely to be elective or other planned care.

Between 2012–13 and 2016–17, the number of hospitalisations rose by an average of 4.3% each year for public hospitals and 3.6% each year for private hospitals.