Information about SAB cases is collected by hospital staff for infection surveillance purposes. The AIHW thanks state and territory health authorities and participating private hospitals and hospital groups for providing SAB data through the National Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia Data Collection (NSABDC).


Data quality summary: National Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia Data Collection (NSABDC)

  • The NSABDC is a data collection that includes counts of healthcare-associated SAB cases for public hospitals covered by SAB surveillance arrangements, and for private hospitals that choose to provide data. Data collected also includes counts of patient days under surveillance and total patient days.
  • SAB cases are reported by all states and territories and participating private hospitals using the national agreed case definitions (visit Appendix A).
  • There may be imprecise exclusion of some SAB cases due to the inherent difficulties in determining the origins of SAB episodes, such as those originating in non-hospital settings.
  • For some states and territories there is less than 100% coverage of public hospitals as surveillance arrangements may not be in place in all wards or all hospitals.
  • The accuracy and comparability of the rates of SAB among jurisdictions and over time are also limited because the count of days of patient care reflects the amount of admitted patient activity.
  • The data for 2011–12 to 2017–18 are comparable.
  • The data for 2010–11 are comparable with subsequent year data except for public hospital data for Queensland.
  • The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Health provided the number of occupied bed days for NSW public hospitals rather than the number of patient days under surveillance. The comparability of NSW data and data from other jurisdictions is therefore limited, but only by the small extent that counts of occupied bed days would be expected to differ from counts of days of patient care.
  • The 2017–18 patient day and coverage data may be preliminary for some hospitals or jurisdictions.
  • Due to the changes in 2016 to the denominator of the performance indicator specification, data published in 2017 and subsequent years for the reporting years 2010–11 to 2014–15 are not comparable with data previously published in:
    • the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council publications
    • the AIHW series ‘Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in Australian public hospitals: Australian hospital statistics’
    • the annual Report on Government Services produced by the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision.
  • Private hospitals supply data voluntarily to the NSABDC, and not all private hospitals report data. Coverage of the private sector is therefore incomplete and reported data may not be representative of the sector as a whole.