Glossary

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander: A person who identified themselves, or was identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Indigenous.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs): Health services operated by local Indigenous communities to deliver comprehensive, holistic and culturally appropriate health care to their communities. They range from large services with several medical practitioners who provide a range of services, to small services that rely on nurses and/or Aboriginal health workers to provide most services, and are controlled through a locally elected board of management. For more information see the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker: An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person with a minimum qualification in the field of primary health-care work or clinical practice. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners are one speciality stream of health worker. Health workers liaise with patients, clients and visitors to hospitals and health clinics, and work as a team member to arrange, coordinate and provide health-care delivery in community health clinics.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner: A person who has completed Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Practice) and is registered with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia. The practitioner may undertake higher levels of clinical assessment and care within their agreed scope of practice. This role became nationally registered from 1 July 2013 under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions.

Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA): ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distances to the nearest urban centre in each of 5 size classes. Therefore, not all remoteness areas are represented in each state or territory.

There are 6 remoteness areas in this structure:

  • Major cities—collection districts (CDs) with an average ARIA index value between 0 and less than or equal to 0.2
  • Inner regional areas—CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 0.2 and less than or equal to 2.4
  • Outer regional areas—CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 2.4 and less than or equal to 5.92
  • Remote areas—CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 5.92 and less than or equal to 10.53
  • Very remote areas—CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 10.53
  • Migratory—composed of offshore, shipping and migratory CDs.

aged care: This is defined in the OSR as the organisation routinely provides clinical and support services to older people, including any of the following: coordination of care; assessment, case management, therapy and review; routine management of acute and chronic medical conditions; referral and support to access aged care services; specific group activities for older people; and visiting services to older people at home or in residential aged care facilities.

albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR): A measure of renal function that assesses albumin in the urine. A healthy result was considered as less than 2.5 for males and less than 3.5 for females.

allied health professionals: Includes professionals working as an audiologist/audiometrist, diabetes educator, dietitian, optometrist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, podiatrist, speech pathologist and ‘other’ allied health professionals not already specified.

AUDIT-C: An Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test screening tool, which is sensitive to the early detection of risky and high-risk (or hazardous and harmful) drinking.

birth: Birth of a viable fetus, which is defined as a birth occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy or the fetus weighing more than 400 grams at birth (live, still, singleton, multiple).

birthweight: Birthweight is defined as low (birthweight of less than 2,500 grams), normal (birthweight of 2,500–4,499 grams), or high (birthweight of 4,500 grams and over).

body mass index (BMI): A measure of an adult’s weight (body mass) relative to height, used to assess the extent of weight deficit or excess, where height and weight have been measured. BMI is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres.

cardiovascular disease (CVD): Any disease of the circulatory system, namely the heart (cardio) or blood vessels (vascular).

cervical screening: A procedure involving a Pap test or HPV test, which is used to detect cancer and pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Serious, progressive and disabling long‑term lung disease where damage to the lungs—usually because of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis—obstructs oxygen intake, and causes increasing shortness of breath.

client numbers: Counts how many individuals receive health care by an organisation during the collection period. Each individual is counted as a client once only, regardless of how many times they are seen. Visitors and transient clients are included in client counts, but clients attending group activities only (and who do not receive individual care) are excluded.

client contacts: Counts the client contacts made by each type of health worker from an organisation during the collection period. Includes contacts made by both employed and visiting staff and transport contacts. Contacts made as part of a group are excluded from the count, as are administrative contacts and residential care contacts.

clinical information system (CIS): A computer system used to manage client records.

episodes of care: Counts the episodes of care provided by each organisation during the collection period. This is based on a count of the contacts between an individual client and 1 or more staff providing health care within 1 calendar day. All contacts with the same client on the same day are treated holistically as 1 episode of care. Includes contacts with both employed and visiting staff. Transport-only contacts and those made as part of a group are excluded from the count, as are administrative contacts and residential care contacts.

estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR): A measure of how well the kidneys filter waste from the blood. The eGFR is the best measure of kidney function. A result of 60mL/min/1.73m2 or over was considered as normal or close to normal.

first antenatal visit: The contact at which the initial antenatal check-ups are done—for example, to confirm pregnancy, establish history, and conduct blood tests.

full-time equivalent (FTE) staff: Counts how many FTE positions an organisation paid the wages or salary for at the 30 June (employed staff), how many staff worked for but were not paid for by the organisation during the collection (visiting staff) and how many vacant positions there were at 30 June. FTE is a standard measure of the size of a workforce that takes into account both the number of workers and the hours that each works. For example, if a workforce comprises 2 people working full-time 40 hours a week and 2 working half-time, this is the same as 3 working full-time—an FTE of 3.

fully immunised: Describes children who have received all immunisations according to the AIR.

  • Children aged 12–<24 months are required to have received all immunisations that are due at 6 months:
    • 3 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
    • 3 doses of polio
    • 2 or 3 doses of haemophilus influenzae type B
    • 2 or 3 doses of hepatitis B.
  • Children aged 24–<36 months are required to have received all immunisations that are due at 12 months:
    • 3 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
    • 3 doses of polio
    • 3 or 4 doses of haemophilus influenzae type B
    • 3 doses of hepatitis B
    • 1 dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
  • Children aged 60–<72 months are required to have received all immunisations that are due at age 4:
    • 4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
    • 4 doses of polio
    • 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

General Practitioner Management Plan (GPMP): Chronic disease management plan carried out according to the MBS Schedule (item 721).

haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or glycated haemoglobin): A measurement that acts as an indicator of time-averaged blood glucose levels (over the previous 2–3 months). It is used as the best marker of long-term diabetes control (Jones et al. 2011).

health staff: The following positions are counted as ‘health’ staff in this report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners; doctors/GPs; nurses and midwives; substance misuse and drug and alcohol workers; tobacco workers and coordinators; dentists or dental therapists; dental support workers; sexual health workers; outreach workers; traditional healers; environmental health workers and officers; medical specialists; social and emotional wellbeing staff and counsellors; allied health professionals; health promotion or prevention workers; training or trainee health positions; other health workers (not reported elsewhere).

indicator: See definition for national Key Performance Indicators.

Indigenous: Used interchangeably with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. See also Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

influenza: An acute contagious viral respiratory infection marked by fever, muscle aches, headache, cough, and sore throat.

MBS health assessment: Health assessment for those aged 0–4 and 25 and over, which are done according to the MBS Schedule (item 715).

medical specialists: Medical practitioners who are registered as specialists under a law of state or territory or recognised as specialists or consultant physicians by a specialist recognition advisory committee, such as paediatricians, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, obstetricians and surgeons.

national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs): A set of indicators that monitor the major health issues of the regular client population of Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations.

non-Indigenous: A person who has indicated they are not of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

other staff: The following positions are counted as ‘other’ staff in this report: chief executive officers (CEOs); managers and supervisors; drivers and field officers; finance and accounting staff; administrative and clerical staff; information technology (IT) and data management staff; cleaners, security and other support staff; administrative and support trainees.

palliative care: This is defined in the OSR as: the organisation provides clinical management and care coordination, including assessment, triage and referral using a palliative approach for patients with uncomplicated needs associated with a life-limiting illness or end of life care. The organisation also has formal links with a specialist palliative care provider for purposes of referral, consultation and access to specialist care as necessary.

primary health care organisations: Organisations that receive funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to provide primary health care services. While some primary health care organisations constitute an individual health care clinic, others have multiple clinics, and provide combined data for all their clinics. Other nKPI reporting organisations are intermediaries (for example, Primary Health Networks), which might also combine the data for the clinics where they subcontract services.

program: A planned, regular activity organised by an organisation.

regular client: A client who has visited a particular primary health care provider 3 or more times in the previous 2 years.

remoteness areas: The remoteness areas divide Australia into broad geographic regions that share common characteristics of remoteness for statistical purposes. Each state and territory is divided into several regions based on their relative accessibility to goods and services (such as GPs, hospitals and specialist care) as measured by road distance. These regions are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). The main categories are Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, and Very remote . Individual states and territories may not contain areas of every class: for example, the Northern Territory does not contain a Major city or an Inner regional classification.

remoteness structure: One of 7 geographical structures listed in the Australian Standard Geographic Classification. Its purpose is to classify collection districts that share characteristics of remoteness into broad geographical regions called remoteness areas.

service delivery site: Includes all service delivery sites owned, leased or otherwise controlled by an organisation. It does not include outlets or sites only visited by mobile services.

smoking status: Current smoker includes those who smoke daily, weekly, or less often than weekly; ex-smoker refers to a person who does not smoke at all now, but has smoked at least 100 cigarettes, or a similar amount of other tobacco product, in his/her lifetime; never smoked refers to a person who does not smoke now, and has smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes, or a similar amount of other tobacco product, in his/her lifetime.

social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) staff: These include (but are not limited to) psychologists, counsellors, mental health workers, social workers and welfare workers.

Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Program: A program funded by the Australian Government focusing on health promotion around smoking and healthy lifestyles to help close the gap between the health of Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians, and to reduce chronic disease in Aboriginal people. The team is made up of regional tobacco action workers and healthy lifestyle workers, and all are trained outreach Aboriginal health workers.

Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program: Funded by the Australian Government, this targeted activity aims to prevent the uptake of smoking and supports smoking cessation among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is a multi-component program that focuses on evidence-based activities and tobacco reduction outcomes. It uses proven approaches to change smoking behaviours, with activities delivered at multiple levels, including health service funding, workforce training and organisational support, and support for smokers through Quitline funding. The Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program replaces the previous Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Program.

Team Care Arrangement (TCA): Chronic disease management plan carried out according to the MBS Schedule (item 723).

type 2 diabetes: The most common form of diabetes, occurring mostly in people aged 40 or over, and marked by reduced or less effective insulin.