Non-admitted patients

Every year many Australians receive services as an outpatient in non-admitted patient clinics. These services are often associated with an emergency or admitted patient episode for which diagnostic or follow-up care is required without needing the person to be admitted to hospital. The types of care they receive include consultations with specialist medical practitioners, the provision of diagnostic or other procedures, and allied health or clinical nurse specialist services.

The non-admitted patient care data collections have information about services provided to non-admitted patients in Australian public hospitals, including the types of services provided, the types of clinics in which services take place, the users of services and the funding of services.

These data collections exclude non-admitted patient services provided during emergency department care and to admitted patients, as well as service events that deliver non-clinical care (e.g. in-home maintenance and cleaning).

Explore more details on the care provided to non-admitted patients via the links at the bottom of the page.

Non-admitted patients

All data in these visualisations are available for download in the Data & downloads section of the MyHospitals website.

Non-admitted patients bookmark 1

38 million non-admitted patient service events were provided by public hospitals in various settings in 2019–20.

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Non-admitted patients bookmark 1

47 million non-admitted patient service events were provided by public hospitals in various settings in 2020–21.

Non-admitted patients bookmark 2

30% of service events in 2020–21 were for people 65 and over.

Non-admitted patients bookmark 3

21% of service events were for people living in areas classified as the lowest socioeconomic status.

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Non-admitted patients bookmark 3

21% of service events were for people living in areas classified as the lowest socioeconomic status.

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Around 47 million non-admitted patient care services events were provided

In 2020–21:

  • 46.8 million non-admitted patient care service events were provided in public hospitals – 23% more (8.7 million) than were provided in 2019–20. The increase was likely due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020
  • nearly half (44%) of service events, were provided in Allied health and/or clinical nurse specialist intervention clinics (20.4 million)
  • 1 in 4 (26%) service events were provided in Medical consultation clinics (12.2 million)
  • 9 in 10 (89%) were funded by sources categorised as Other funding (e.g. funding source was reported as Health service budget)
  • 1 in 10 (11%) service events were funded through the Medicare Benefits Scheme, and less than 1% were funded by either the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or Compensable sources.

Who received non-admitted patient services?

Of the 35.1 million episode-level service events reported in 2020–21:

  • over half were for females (55%)
  • over half were for people aged 45 and over (54%)
  • 1 in 20 (5.5%) service events provided to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians
  • over 6 in 10 (65%) were for people living in Major cities and 2 in 10 (19%) were for people living in Inner regional areas
  • 1 in 5 (21%) of service events were provided to people living in the lowest socioeconomic areas.

Where do I find more information?

More information on these data are available in the Non-admitted patient care 2020–21 data tables.

Definitions of the terms used in this section are available in the Glossary.

Non-admitted patient care data collections

Non-admitted patient care data encompasses:

  • clinic-level data—which is based on data in the National Non-admitted Patient Care Aggregate Database (NNAPC(agg)D), and includes information on:
    • the type of outpatient clinic
    • individual and group service events
    • funding source of service events
    • whether the service involved care from multiple health care providers
  • episode-level data—which is based on data in the National Non-admitted Patient Database (NNAP(el)D), and includes information on:
    • selected patient characteristics
    • service delivery mode and setting
    • type of care provided
    • additional information that is also provided as part of clinic-level data.

In 2020-21, 75% of data provided to the non-admitted patient care data collections was episode-level data, and the aim is for the collection to eventually only report on episode-level data.

Clinic-level data are primarily used to report on 'total service events'. Where clinic-level data were unavailable, episode-level data were used to supplement the NNAPC(agg)D which enabled us to report on all non-admitted patient care services in the reporting year.

For the NNAP(el)D, counts represent each service event, not each patient. Therefore, patients who receive more than one non-admitted patient service event in the reporting period will have more than one record in the NNAP(el)D. Due to the changing scope of the Non-admitted patient care data collections, 2020–21 data are not comparable with previous reporting years and no time series data are provided.

Technical specifications for these collections can be found in the About the data section or on the METEOR website.