Clients

The Online Services Report (OSR) collection contains 3 measures related to the clients that organisations see—client numbers, client contacts and episodes of care.

Client numbers

Client numbers refers to how many individuals receive health care from an organisation during the collection period. Each individual is counted as a client once only within an organisation, 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.

A client may attend more than one organisation. The extent this occurs is not known and is not adjusted for.

See also Regular client in Technical notes.

Client contacts

Client contacts are a count of the contacts made by each type of health worker in an organisation (both employed and visiting health staff), and include those made by drivers and field officers (transport contacts). Client contacts do not include administrative contacts or those relating to groups and residential care.

Counts of client contacts in 2016–17 were affected by changes to episodes of care in that year. See also Episodes of care and Technical notes.

Episodes of care

An episode of care is a contact between a client and 1 or more health workers in an organisation in 1 calendar day. All contacts with the same client on the same day are counted as 1 episode of care only, but if more than 1 health worker sees that client in the same day (for example, both a nurse and doctor see the same client) then 1 episode of care will count as multiple client contacts. An episode of care may be provided by employed or visiting health staff, either on site or off site, and includes outreach, hospital contact with clients, telephone contacts of a clinical nature, care delivered over the phone which results in an update to a client’s record and other clinical consultations. Episodes of care do not include administrative contacts or those relating to groups and residential care.

Episodes of care data for 2016–17 are not comparable with other years because changes were made to the types of contacts counted as an episode of care. There were also corrections made to the counting rules used by one clinical information system which did not fully align with the episode of care definition (which had not changed since originally agreed in 2008–09). These led to lower numbers of episodes of care recorded and potential undercounts for some services in 2016–17. See also Client contacts and Technical notes.

The following boxes show key results for 2019–20. Clicking on a box will go to more information on the selected topic.

Client numbers

Client contacts

Episodes of care