This data quality statement provides information relevant to interpretation of the National Non-admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NNAPEDCD) for 2011–12.Summary of key issues
• The National Non-Admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database (NNAPEDC) is a compilation of episode-level data for emergency department presentations in public hospitals.
• The scope of the NNAPEDCD is non-admitted patients registered for care in emergency departments in public hospital peer groups A and B (Principal referral and specialist women’s and children’s and Large hospitals). Some states and territories also provided data for public hospitals that were classified in peer groups other than A or B.
• For 2011–12, the presentations to emergency departments reported to the NNAPEDCD were estimated to account for 84% of all emergency occasions of service in public hospitals.
• Before 1 January 2012, the data collection does not include care provided to admitted patients in emergency departments. From 1 January 2012, all care provided to patients treated in emergency departments remain in scope for this collection. Care is included until the patient is recorded as having physically departed the emergency department, regardless of whether they have been admitted. Care provided to patients admitted to ‘short stay units’ within emergency departments is also not included in the NNAPEDCD.
• Although there are national standards for data on non-admitted patient emergency department services, there are some variations in how those services are defined and counted across states and territories and over time. For example:
– There is variation in Type of visit by state or territory, particularly for patients who were Dead on arrival.
– There is variation in the point at which the non-admitted patient emergency department presentation is reported as completed for those patients subsequently admitted within the emergency department and/or elsewhere in the hospital.
– There is apparently variation in the recording of the 'time of commencement of clinical care' in emergency departments across states and territories. This may affect the comparability of waiting times and the proportion of patients who commenced care within the clinically recommended time.
– There is variation in the way that patients who died in the emergency department were reported to the NNAPEDCD.
• The proportion of presentations by triage category varied by state or territory. This may reflect different triage categorisation, differing mixes of patients or both.
• The quality of the data reported for Indigenous status has not been formally assessed; therefore, caution should be exercised when interpreting these data.
• Changes in data set specifications in the second half of 2011–12 may affect the comparability of these data with other reporting periods and across the 2011–12 reporting period.
The NNAPEDCD includes episode-level data on non-admitted patients treated in the emergency departments of Australian public hospitals. The data supplied for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2011 are based on the National Minimum Data Set for Non-admitted patient emergency department care (NAPEDC NMDS). Data supplied for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2012 are based on the Non-admitted patient emergency department care Data Set Specification (DSS) 1 January 2012 to 30 June 2012.
While the scope of the NNAPEDCD covers public hospitals in public hospital peer groups A and B (Principal referral and specialist women’s and children’s hospitals and Large hospitals) in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australian hospital statistics of the previous year, data were also provided by some states and territories for hospitals in peer groups other than A and B. Data were also provided for:
– 23 Medium hospitals, 20 Small hospitals and 9 Unpeered/Other hospitals in New South Wales
– 6 Medium hospitals in Victoria
– 4 Medium hospitals in Queensland
– 3 Small remote acute hospitals in Western Australia
– 7 Medium hospitals and 1 Small remote acute hospital in South Australia
– 1 Medium hospital in Tasmania
– 3 Small remote acute hospitals in the Northern Territory.
The NNAPEDCD includes data for each year from 2003–04 to 2011–12.