administrative data: Information collected, processed and stored in automated information systems. Administrative data include enrolment or eligibility information, claims information and managed care encounters.

administrative data collection: Data set that results from information collected for the purposes of delivering a service or paying the provider of the service. This type of collection is usually complete (that is, all in-scope events are collected), but may not be fully suitable for population-level analysis because data are collected primarily for an administrative purpose.

Alzheimer’s disease: Degenerative brain disease caused by nerve cell death resulting in shrinkage of the brain. A common form of dementia.

cancer (malignant neoplasm): Large range of diseases where some body cells become defective, begin to multiply out of control, invade and damage the area around them, and can then spread to other parts of the body causing more damage.

cause of death: All diseases, morbid conditions or injuries that resulted in or contributed to death – and the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced any such injuries – entered on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

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. By far the greatest cause is cigarette smoking.

comorbidity: Situation where a person has 2 or more health problems at the same time.

coronary heart disease: Disease due to blockages in the heart’s own (coronary) arteries, expressed as angina or a heart attack. Also known as ischaemic heart disease.

data linkage: Bringing together (linking) of information from 2 or more data sources believed to relate to the same entity (for example, to the same individual or same institution). This linkage can yield more information about the entity and, in certain cases, provide a time sequence. The term is used synonymously with ‘record linkage’ and ‘data integration’.

deidentified: Process involving removal or alteration of personal identifiers, followed by applying additional techniques or controls to remove, obscure, aggregate, alter and/or protect data so it is no longer about an identifiable (or reasonably identifiable) individual.

dementia: Group of conditions affecting the brain. Dementia is generally progressive and characterised by symptoms such as impaired thinking, changes in behaviour and declining ability to perform the activities of daily living. Common types are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and mixed types of dementia.

diabetes (diabetes mellitus): Chronic condition where the body cannot effectively use its main energy source, the sugar glucose. This is due to a relative or absolute deficiency in insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps glucose to enter the body’s cells from the bloodstream and to be processed by them. Diabetes is marked by an abnormal build-up of glucose in the blood. It can have serious short and long-term effects. The 3 main types are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

general practitioner (GP): Medical practitioner who provides primary, comprehensive and continuing care to patients and their families in the community.

hospital admission: Acute or mental health admission to hospital. The term hospitalisation is used to describe an episode of hospital care that starts with the formal admission process and ends with the formal separation process.

infectious disease: Disease or illness caused by infectious organisms or their toxic products. The disease may be passed directly or indirectly to humans through contact with other humans, animals or environments where the organism is found. Also referred to as a communicable disease.

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD): World Health Organization’s internationally accepted classification of death and disease. The Tenth Revision (ICD-10) is in use. The ICD-10-AM is the Australian Modification of the ICD-10. It is used for diagnoses and procedures recorded for patients admitted to hospitals.

Medicare: National, government-funded scheme that subsidises the cost of personal medical services for all Australians and aims to help them afford medical care. The MBS is the listing of Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government. The schedule is part of the wider Medicare Benefits Scheme (Medicare).

non-admitted patient: Patient who receives care from a recognised non-admitted patient service/clinic of a hospital, including emergency departments and outpatient clinics.

out-of-pocket costs: Total costs incurred by individuals for health-care services, over and above refunds from the MBS, PBS or private health insurance funds.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS): National, government-funded scheme that subsidises the cost of a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs. It covers all Australians, to help them afford standard medications. The PBS lists the medicinal products available under the PBS and explains uses for which subsidies can apply. More information: Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

principal diagnosis: Diagnosis established, after study, to be chiefly responsible for an episode of patient care (hospitalisation), residential care or attendance at a health-care establishment. Diagnoses are recorded using the relevant edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, Australian modification (ICD-10-AM).

private patient: Person admitted to a private hospital, or person admitted to a public hospital who decides to choose the doctors who will treat them or have private ward accommodation. This means they will be charged for medical services, food and accommodation.

public patient: Person admitted to hospital who has agreed to be treated by doctors of the hospital’s choice and to accept shared ward accommodation. Such patients are admitted and treated at no charge and are mostly funded through public sector health or hospital service budgets.

Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS): Australian Government scheme providing a range of pharmaceuticals and wound dressings at a concessional rate for the treatment of eligible veterans, war widows and widowers and their dependants.

residential aged care: Care provided to a person in an aged care facility approved by the Australian Government (often called nursing homes). Services include: accommodation in private or shared rooms (bedding and other furnishings, meals and laundry); personal care (assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing, eating and moving about), social activities; and nursing and allied health-care services. Residential aged care can be on a permanent basis (people live in the facility), or on a short-term basis for respite or emergency support.

specialist services: Services supporting people with specific or complex health conditions and issues, who are generally referred by primary health-care providers. These services are often described as secondary health-care services. In many cases, a formal referral is required for an individual to access the recommended specialist service.

suicide: Action to deliberately end one’s own life.

underlying cause of death: Primary or main cause of death: the condition, disease or injury that initiated the sequence of events leading directly to death; or the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury. See cause of death.