Healthy Communities: Avoidable deaths and life expectancies in 2009–2011 - Technical Supplement - Measures reported from the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set

Healthy Communities: Avoidable deaths and life expectancies in 2009–2011

Measures reported from the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set

The report presents data from the Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set for 2011–12 on the following measure:

  • Potentially avoidable hospitalisations.

Age-standardised rates of potentially avoidable hospitalisations per 100,000 population in 2011–12 are presented. Rates are based on 21 conditions classified as being potentially avoidable hospitalisations.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) 7th edition was used to identify diagnoses related to potentially avoidable hospitalisations. ICD-10-AM codes are assigned by clinical coders in each hospital, based on the diagnoses recorded in the patient’s medical record. The diagnosis is recorded for each hospital episode and is specific to that episode.

Some potentially avoidable hospitalisations are identified using procedure codes as well as diagnosis codes. A procedure is a clinical intervention represented by a code that:

  • Is surgical in nature and/or
  • Carries a procedural risk and/or
  • Carries an anaesthetic risk and/or
  • Requires specialised training and/or
  • Requires special facilities or equipment only available in an acute care setting.

The procedure codes used in this report were based on the Australian Classification of Health Interventions 7th edition. The current core specification for the National Healthcare Agreement performance indicator for Selected potentially preventable hospitalisations includes hospitalisations for diabetes complications that are identified as hospitalisations with a principal diagnosis of diabetes or hospitalisations with an additional diagnosis of diabetes where the principal diagnosis is one of 15 selected conditions that are complications of diabetes.

However, changes to ICD-10-AM coding rules for diabetes since July 2006 resulted in decreased reporting of additional diagnoses for diabetes between 2007–08 and 2010–11.

A further change to diabetes coding was introduced in July 2012. These coding changes mean that it is difficult to compare hospitalisation rates for diabetes complications over time and therefore, after review by experts, the Authority decided to exclude diabetes as an additional diagnosis from the specification for selected potentially avoidable hospitalisations to ensure fair comparison nationally

The Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set includes episodes of care for admitted patients in all public and private acute and psychiatric hospitals, free-standing day hospital facilities and alcohol and drug treatment centres in Australia. Hospitals operated by the Australian Defence Force, corrections authorities and in Australia’s offshore territories may also be included. Hospitals specialising in dental, ophthalmic aids and other specialised acute medical or surgical care are included. Episodes of non-admitted patient care provided in outpatient clinics or emergency departments are excluded from the APC NMDS data.

The counting unit for the APC NMDS is the ‘separation’. Separation is the term used to refer to the episode of admitted patient care, which can be a total hospital stay (from admission to discharge, transfer or death) or a portion of a hospital stay beginning or ending in a change of type of care (e.g. from acute care to rehabilitation).

As a record is included for each separation, not for each patient, patients hospitalised more than once in the financial year will have more than one record.

For more information on the 2011–12 APC NMDS, see the Data Set Specification on the AIHW’s Metadata Online Registry (METeOR) at: link, opens in a new window..

Further information on this indicator can be found in a previous report published by the Authority, Healthy Communities: Selected potentially avoidable hospitalisations in 2011–12, Technical Supplement.