National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services: Unplanned re-attendances to the emergency department within 48 hours of previous attendances
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Indicator|
|Short name:||Unplanned re-attendances to the emergency department within 48 hours of previous attendances|
|Synonymous names:||48 hour unplanned ED re-attendances|
|Description:||The number and percentage of presentations to public hospital emergency departments that are followed by unplanned re-attendances to the same emergency department within 48 hours.|
|Indicator set:||Performance Indicators for the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services|
Health, Standard 21/11/2013
Collection and usage attributes
The scope of this indicator is all hospitals reporting to the Non-admitted patient emergency department care (NAPEDC) NMDS (Peer Groups A, B and other) as at August 2011, when the National Health Reform Agreement - National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services (NPA IPHS) was signed. For the duration of the NPA IPHS, hospitals that have not previously reported to the NAPEDC NMDS can come into scope, subject to agreement between the jurisdiction and the Commonwealth. This includes emergency departments located in publicly funded privately operated hospitals.
Initial presentations: An 'initial presentation' is an emergency department presentation that may be followed by an unplanned re-attendance occurring ≤ 48 hours later (i.e. ≤ 2,880 minutes later) by the same patient.
Initial presentations that are out-of-scope for the indicator calculation are:
The reference period for initial presentations commences 48 hours prior to the start of the quarter and concludes 48 hours prior to the end of the quarter.
Subsequent presentations: A 'subsequent presentation' is an emergency department presentation occurring ≤ 48 hours (i.e. ≤ 2,880 minutes) after an emergency department presentation by the same patient (referred to as the initial presentation).
Subsequent presentations that are out-of-scope for the indicator calculation are:
The reference period for subsequent presentations commences 48 hours prior to the start of the quarter and concludes with the end of the quarter.
For the indicator calculation: subtract the Emergency department physical departure date and Emergency department physical departure time of the initial presentation from the Date patient presents and Time patient presents of the subsequent presentation.
Numerator: The number of in-scope initial presentations that are followed by an in-scope subsequent presentation.
The numerator uses the Person identifier to match initial and subsequent presentations at a single patient level. An initial presentation is linked to the first in-scope subsequent presentation only. An individual presentation may be counted as both an initial presentation (if it meets the requirements of an in-scope initial presentation) and as a subsequent presentation (if it meets the requirements of an in-scope subsequent presentation).
Denominator: The total number of in-scope initial presentations.
As per Figure 1 below, the reference periods are framed around the date of the initial presentation; the timing of the initial presentation determines the quarter against which the resulting data are reported. The indicator will count the number of initial presentations that are followed by an in-scope subsequent presentation. For example, an initial presentation occurring between 30 December and 29 March followed by an in-scope subsequent presentation occurring between 30 December and 31 March is to be counted in the January-March quarter for the purposes of this indicator.
Figure 1: Quarterly reference periods for initial and subsequent presentations
Analysis is by state and territory and hospital, based on location of service.
Presented as a number and percentage.
100 × (Numerator ÷ Denominator)
The number of in-scope emergency department presentations that are followed by an unplanned re-attendance to the same emergency department within ≤ 48 hours (i.e. ≤ 2,880 minutes).
|Numerator data elements:|
|Denominator:||The number of in-scope emergency department presentations.|
|Denominator data elements:|
|Disaggregation:||Disaggregation is by state/territory and hospital|
|Disaggregation data elements:|
The NPA IPHS stipulates a performance indicator measuring unplanned re-attendances to emergency departments. The NAPEDC NMDS uses the term 'presentation' to describe an attendance at an emergency department. In this indicator, the term 'attendance' has been interpreted as 'presentation' to align with the NAPEDC NMDS terminology.
The lack of presenting problem/diagnosis data in the NAPEDC NMDS reduces the ability to identify whether an unplanned re-attendance is for a problem related to the previous presentation. This will result in over-reporting of unplanned re-attendances.
In most states and territories, the Person identifier is unique to a hospital and cannot be used to identify individual patients who present to more than one hospital. Therefore this indicator is based on initial and subsequent presentations to the same hospital. This will result in an undercount of unplanned re-attendances.
|Unit of measure:||Service event|
Data source attributes
Department of Health and Ageing; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
|Reporting requirements:||National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services|
|Organisation responsible for providing data:||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Department of Health and Ageing|
Source and reference attributes
|Submitting organisation:||National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee - Emergency Data Development Working Group|
Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations. National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services. Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations, Canberra. Viewed 15 April 2013,
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