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Access to admitted patient care services is affected by various factors, such as the demographics of the patient. Included is information on the patient's:
The accessibility of admitted patient care services are measured using:
Information about access to elective surgery is available in the Elective surgery section.
Length of stay is the number of days between admission to hospital, and separation. The Average Length of Stay (ALOS) is calculated as the total number of patient days reported for the hospital (or group of hospitals), divided by the number of hospitalisations.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presents comparative information on the ALOS for overnight hospitalisations as an indicator of efficiency. The comparability of international ALOS may be affected by differences in definitions of hospitals, collection periods and admission practices.
The ALOS for selected AR-DRGs is an indicator of Efficiency and sustainability under the Australian Health Performance Framework (AHPF).
In the data visualisation below, you can view the ALOS by selected medical procedures, by state and territory, and by type of hospital (peer group).
Between 2013–14 and 2017–18:
Significant changes in ALOS over time may be related to changes in admission practices and improvements in the coverage of reporting.
What other information is available?
More information on type of care, appendixes and caveat information is available in Chapter 2: How much activity was there? in the Admitted patient care 2017–18 report and Data tables.
Definitions of the terms used in this section are available in the Glossary.
Average length of stay
The average length of stay (ALOS) is calculated as the total number of patient days reported for the hospital (or group of hospitals), divided by the number of separations. Two measures for ALOS are presented:
Performance indicator: Average length of stay for selected AR-DRGs
The ALOS for selected AR-DRGs is an indicator of Efficiency and sustainability under the Australian Health Performance Framework (AHPF). The selected AR-DRGs were chosen on the basis of:
Due to changes in the AR-DRG classification, the data presented here are not comparable with the data presented in previous years.
A specialised service unit is a facility or unit dedicated to the treatment or care of patients with particular conditions or characteristics, such as an intensive care unit.
In 2017–18, the most common specialised service units offered by public hospitals were:
There were 82 intensive care units (level III and above), and 32 Neonatal intensive care units (level III and above).
The data visualisation below provides a list of selected services provided by individual hospitals, including specialised care units, in the 2017-18 reporting period.
The information about services provided by a particular hospital is intended as a general guide only. There is the potential for some omissions or errors in this information and readers should contact a hospital directly for the latest advice on the services available.
A list of the types of specialised units is available in the more information about the data section below.
More information on specialised service units is available in the report Hospital resources 2017–18 report and Data tables.
Types of specialised service unit include:
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the treatment of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients.
Acute renal dialysis unit - A specialised facility dedicated to dialysis of renal failure patients requiring acute care.
Acute spinal cord injury unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the initial treatment and subsequent ongoing management and rehabilitation of patients with acute spinal cord injury, largely conforming to Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council guidelines for service provision.
Alcohol and drug unit - A facility/service dedicated to the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence.
Bone marrow transplantation unit - A specialised facility for bone marrow transplantation.
Burns unit (level III) - A specialised facility dedicated to the initial treatment and subsequent rehabilitation of the severely injured burns patient (usually >10 per cent of the patient’s body surface affected).
Cardiac surgery unit - A specialised facility dedicated to operative and peri-operative care of patients with cardiac disease.
Clinical genetics unit - A specialised facility dedicated to diagnostic and counselling services for clients who are affected by, at risk of, or anxious about genetic disorders.
Comprehensive epilepsy centre - A specialised facility dedicated to seizure characterisation, evaluation of therapeutic regimes, pre-surgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery for patients with refractory epilepsy.
Coronary care unit - A specialised facility dedicated to acute care services for patients with cardiac diseases.
Diabetes unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the treatment of diabetics.
Domiciliary care service - A facility/service dedicated to the provision of nursing or other professional paramedical care or treatment and non-qualified domestic assistance to patients in their own homes or in residential institutions not part of the establishment.
Geriatric assessment unit - Facilities dedicated to the Commonwealth-approved assessment of the level of dependency of (usually) aged individuals either for purposes of initial admission to a long-stay institution or for purposes of reassessment of dependency levels of existing long-stay institution residents.
Heart, lung transplantation unit - A specialised facility for heart including heart lung transplantation.
Hospice care unit - A facility dedicated to the provision of palliative care to terminally ill patients.
In-vitro fertilisation unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the investigation of infertility provision of in-vitro fertilisation services.
Infectious diseases unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the treatment of infectious diseases.
Intensive care unit (level III) - A specialised facility dedicated to the care of paediatric and adult patients requiring intensive care and sophisticated technological support services.
Liver transplantation unit - A specialised facility for liver transplantation.
Maintenance renal dialysis centre - A specialised facility dedicated to maintenance dialysis of renal failure patients. It may be a separate facility (possibly located on hospital grounds) or known as a satellite centre or a hospital-based facility but is not a facility solely providing training services.
Major plastic/reconstructive surgery unit - A specialised facility dedicated to general purpose plastic and specialised reconstructive surgery, including maxillofacial, microsurgery and hand surgery.
Neonatal intensive care unit (level III) - A specialised facility dedicated to the care of neonates requiring care and sophisticated technological support. Patients usually require intensive cardiorespiratory monitoring, sustained assistance ventilation, long-term oxygen administration and parenteral nutrition.
Neurosurgical unit - A specialised facility dedicated to the surgical treatment of neurological conditions.
Nursing home care unit - A facility dedicated to the provision of nursing home care.
Obstetric/maternity - A specialised facility dedicated to the care of obstetric/maternity patients.
Oncology unit, cancer treatment - A specialised facility dedicated to multidisciplinary investigation, management, rehabilitation and support services for cancer patients. Treatment services include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Pancreas transplantation unit - A specialised facility for pancreas transplantation.
Psychiatric unit/ward - A specialised unit/ward dedicated to the treatment and care of admitted patients with psychiatric, mental, or behavioural disorders.
Rehabilitation unit - Dedicated units within recognised hospitals which provide post-acute rehabilitation and are designed as such by the State health authorities.
Renal transplantation unit - A specialised facility for renal transplantation.
Sleep centre - A specialised facility linked to a sleep laboratory dedicated to the investigation and management of sleep disorders.
Specialist paediatric - A specialised facility dedicated to the care of children aged 14 or less is provided within an establishment.
The numbers of public and private hospitals in Australia can vary over time, reflecting the opening or closing of hospitals, the reclassification of hospitals as non‑hospital facilities (or vice-versa) and the amalgamation of existing hospitals. In addition, the number of hospitals reported can be affected by jurisdictional variations in administrative and/or reporting arrangements and is not necessarily a measure of the number of physical hospital buildings or campuses.
there were 693 public hospitals in 2017–18 compared with 747 in 2013–14. Much of this decrease was due to the reclassification of 46 establishments in Queensland between 2013–14 and 2014–15.
Between 2012–13 and 2016–17, the number of private hospitals reporting to the PHEC rose from 601 to 657. Numbers of private hospitals increased for all jurisdictions. Counts of private hospitals can vary, depending on the source of the information - refer to the 'More information about the data' section below for information.
Various types of public hospitals provide care to admitted patients including Principal referral hospitals, Public acute group A hospitals, Very small hospitals, and Subacute and non-acute hospitals. Hospital type (peer group) is a classification of public hospitals into groups of similar hospitals by the types of services provided.
The ratio of available beds to the population does not necessarily indicate the accessibility of hospital services. A hospital can provide services for patients who usually reside in other areas of the state or territory, or in other jurisdictions. The patterns of bed availability across regions may also reflect the availability of other health-care services and patterns of disease and injury.
Between 2012–13 and 2016–17:
More information on how care was funded, appendixes and caveat information is available in the Hospital resources 2017–18 report and Data tables.
The accessibility of non-admitted patient care services can vary depending on the demographics of the patient. This section presents information on the variation of access to these services by demographics for 2017–18. Included is information on the patients:
In the data visualisation below you can explore information on hospitalisations by for 2017–18 and private hospitals for 2016–17, including details on the numbers of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff.
Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, there were large increases in hospitalisations for people aged 65–74, 85 and over, specifically:
The apparent decrease in hospitalisations for patients aged under 1 is due to a change in the assignment of qualification status for newborn care in New South Wales (because these data do not include Newborns without at least one qualified day).
In 2017–18, 5.9 million hospitalisations were for females (52%), and 5.3 million hospitalisations were for males. In particular:
In 2017–18, overall there were 457 hospitalisations per 1,000 population (age-specific rate), with higher rates for females than males in the 15–54 age groups, and higher rates for males in the other age groups. Separation rates increased markedly with age for both males and females aged 55 and over.
More information on services provided to admitted patients, Appendixes and caveat information is available in Chapter 3: Who used these services? of the Admitted patient care 2017–18 report and Data tables.
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