Data source

Mental health-related emergency department data

All state and territory health authorities collect a core set of nationally comparable information on emergency department (ED) presentations (including mental health-related emergency department presentations) in public hospitals within their jurisdiction. The AIHW compiles these data annually to form the National Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NNAPEDCD). In 2015–16, 285 of Australia’s 287 public hospital emergency departments reported emergency department presentations to the NNAPEDCD (data were not available for two hospitals in the Australian Capital Territory) (AIHW 2016) .

Previously, diagnosis-related information was not included in the NNAPEDCD, therefore, states and territories provided the AIHW with a bespoke analysis of mental health-related emergency department presentations. Data on principal diagnosis—that is, the diagnosis chiefly responsible for occasioning the presentation to the emergency department—has subsequently been included in the NNAPEDCD. In this report, data from 2014–15 and 2015–16 are sourced from the NNAPEDCD. Data from previous years was sourced directly from jurisdictions through an annual ad-hoc data request.

Definition of mental health-related emergency department presentations

Mental health-related ED presentations in this report are defined as presentations in public hospital EDs that have a principal diagnosis of Mental and behavioural disorders (that is, codes F00–F99) in ICD-10-AM or the equivalent codes in ICD-9-CM.

For the 2015–16, diagnosis information was reported for the NNAPEDCD using the following classifications:

• Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine—Clinical Terms—Australian version, Emergency Department Reference Set (SNOMED CT-AU (EDRS))

• International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) 2nd edition

• International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) 6th edition, 7th edition 8th edition or 9th edition.

The AIHW undertook to map all diagnosis information to a single classification. Further information on the mapping is available in Appendix B of the AIHW’s Emergency Department Care 2015–16: Australian hospital statistics (AIHW 2016 ).

The Mental and behavioural disorders principal diagnosis codes may not fully capture all mental health-related presentations to EDs, such as presentations for self-harm. Diagnosis codes for intentional self-harm sit outside the Mental and behavioural disorders chapter (X60-X84). Additionally, a presentation for self-harm may have a principal diagnosis relating to the injury, for example Open wound to wrist and hand. These presentations cannot be identified as mental health-related presentations in the NNAPEDCD and are not included in this report.

Further information on the data quality of the 2015–16 NNAPEDCD is available on METeOR, the AIHW’s Metadata Online Registry.

Coverage

In 2015–16, 285 of Australia’s 287 public hospital emergency departments reported emergency department presentations to the NNAPEDCD (data were not available for two hospitals in the Australian Capital Territory) ( AIHW 2016 ).


References

 

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2016. Emergency department care 2015–16: Australian hospital statistics. Health services series no. 72. Cat. no. HSE 182. Canberra: AIHW.

ABS 2016. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian demographic statistics. Dec 2016. Cat. No. 3101.0. Canberra: ABS

Morphet J, Innes K, Munro I, O'Brien A, Gaskin CJ, Reed F et al. 2012. Managing people with mental health presentations in emergency departments—A service exploration of the issues surrounding responsiveness from a mental health care consumer and carer perspective. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal 15:148-55.

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