The scope of this NMDS is non-admitted patients registered for care in emergency departments in selected public hospitals that are classified as either Peer Group A or B in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australian Hospital Statistics publication from the preceding financial year.

The care provided to patients in emergency departments is, in most instances, recognised as being provided to ‘non-admitted’ patients. Patients being treated in emergency departments may subsequently become ‘admitted’. The care provided to non-admitted patients who are treated in the emergency department prior to being admitted is included in this NMDS.

Care provided to patients who are being treated in an emergency department site as an admitted patient (e.g. in an observation unit, short stay unit, ‘Emergency department ward’ or awaiting a bed in an admitted patient ward of the hospital) are excluded from the emergency department care NMDS since the recording of the care provided to these patients is part of the scope of the Admitted patient care NMDS.