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 Organisation (ACCHO): 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 2012 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.

albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR): A measure of renal function that assesses albumin in the urine. 

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.

birthweight: The first weight of the fetus or baby obtained after birth.

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).

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: Refers to how many individuals receive health care from an organisation during the period. For the OSR, this refers to Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients. For the nKPI, this refers to only Indigenous regular clients. Each individual is counted once only within an organisation, regardless of how many times they are seen. See also Clients and Technical notes pages.

client contact: In the OSR collection, this refers to contacts made by clients of an organisation during the collection period. See also Clients and Technical notes pages.

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

episodes of care: In the OSR collection, this refers to contacts between an individual client and 1 or more staff of the organisation within 1 calendar day during the collection period. All contacts with the same client on the same day are treated holistically as 1 episode of care. See also Clients and Technical notes pages.

estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR): A measure of how well the kidneys filter waste from the blood.

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: 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.

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).

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/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 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.

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.

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.

service delivery site: In the OSR collection, this refers to all service delivery sites owned, leased or otherwise controlled by an organisation. It does not include outlets or sites only visited by mobile services.

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

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.