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Health-care incident—principal clinician specialty involved in health-care incident, clinical specialties code N[N]

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termPrincipal clinician specialty involved in health-care incident
METeOR identifier:Help on this term532137
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 21/11/2013
Definition:Help on this termThe clinical specialty of the health-care provider who played the most prominent role in the health-care incident, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Health-care incident—principal clinician specialty involved in health-care incident

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN[N]
Maximum character length:Help on this term2
Permissible values:Help on this term
4Cardio-thoracic surgery
6Clinical genetics
7Haematology (clinical)
8Immunology and allergy (clinical)
9Clinical pharmacology (excluding pharmacy)
11Cosmetic surgery
15Diagnostic radiology
17Emergency medicine
21Gastroenterology and hepatology
22General medicine
23General practice–non-procedural
24General practice–procedural
25General surgery
26Geriatric medicine
27Gynaecology only
28Infectious diseases
29Intensive care medicine
30Medical oncology
34Neonatal or perinatal medicine
35Nuclear medicine
37Nursing–nurse practitioner
38Nutrition or dietician
39Obstetrics and gynaecology
40Obstetrics only
41Occupational and environmental medicine
44Orthopaedic surgery
46Paediatrics (general)
47Paediatric surgery
48Paramedical and ambulance staff
50Pharmacy (excluding clinical pharmacology)
52Plastic and reconstructive surgery
56Public health medicine
57Rehabilitation medicine
59Respiratory and sleep medicine
62Sports and exercise medicine
63Radiation oncology (therapeutic radiology)
66Vascular surgery
67Other allied health (including complementary medicine)
68Other hospital-based medical practitioner
72Maternal-fetal medicine
73Medical administration
75Oral and maxillofacial surgery
76Palliative medicine
78Reproductive endocrinology and infertility
79Addiction medicine
80Paediatric emergency medicine
81Sexual health medicine
82Pain medicine
83Community child health
84Gynaecological oncology
85Obstetrical and gynaecological ultrasound
Supplementary values:Help on this term
97Not applicable
99Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

CODE 13   Dentistry

'Dentistry' excludes oral and maxillofacial surgery.

CODE 15   Diagnostic radiology

'Diagnostic radiology' includes diagnostic ultrasound.

CODE 16   Otolaryngology

'Otolaryngology' includes ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeons.

CODE 22   General medicine

'General medicine' includes general and internal medicine physicians and endoscopy.

CODE 25   General surgery

'General surgery' includes surgical procedures, including colorectal surgery.

CODE 27   Gynaecology only

'Gynaecology only' includes gynaecologists who only diagnose, treat and aid in the prevention of disorders of the female reproductive system (RANZCOG 2013).

CODE 31   Midwifery

'Midwifery' includes registered midwives only.

CODE 35   Nuclear medicine

'Nuclear medicine' includes radiotherapy and radiation oncology.

CODE 36   Nursing–general

'Nursing-general' includes enrolled and registered nurses.

CODE 37   Nursing–nurse practitioner

'Nursing–nurse practitioner' includes registered nurse practitioners only.

CODE 39   Obstetrics and gynaecology

'Obstetrics and gynaecology' includes specialists who carry out gynaecological examinations, diagnosis and operations on women; discuss suitable contraceptive methods with referred patients; provide medical care before, during and after childbirth; deliver babies through normal procedures or by caeserean section; examine mothers and babies after childbirth to check for complications; and treat infertility by chemical or operative measures (RANZCOG 2013).

CODE 40   Obstetrics only

'Obstetrics only' includes obstetricians who only provide medical care before, during and after childbirth (RANZCOG 2013).

CODE 41   Occupational and environmental medicine

'Occupational and environmental medicine' should be used for doctors only; occupational therapists should be recorded at Code 67.

CODE 46   Paediatrics

'Paediatrics' excludes neonatal or perinatal medicine and paediatric surgery.

CODE 49   Pathology

'Pathology' includes general pathology, anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, pathological haematology, pathological immunology and clinical microbiology.

CODE 59   Respiratory and sleep medicine

'Respiratory and sleep medicine' includes thoracic medicine.

CODE 67   Other allied health (including complementary medicine)

'Other allied health (including complementary medicine)' includes: acupuncturist, allergy and asthma consultant, alternative health services, audiologist, audiometrist, Chinese medicine therapist, chiropodist, dental hygienist, dental technician, drug and alcohol counsellor, hygiene consultant, naturopath, occupational health and safety practitioner, occupational therapist, optometrist, social worker, speech pathologist, speech therapist and therapeutic masseur.

CODE 68   Other hospital-based medical practitioners

'Other hospital-based medical practitioners' includes junior doctors, resident doctors, house officers, interns, and other clinicians who do not have a specialty.

CODE 71   Anaesthesia

'Anaesthesia' includes general anaesthesia, paediatric anaesthesia and intensive care anaesthesia.

CODE 82   Pain medicine

'Pain medicine' includes specialists in managing severe pain problems in the areas of acute pain, cancer pain and chronic pain (Faculty of Pain Medicine 2003).

CODE 97   Not applicable

'Not applicable' should be used where no clinical or medical administration staff were involved in the incident.

CODE 99   Not stated/inadequately described

'Not stated/inadequately described' should be used when the information is not currently available. Not stated/inadequately described should not be used when a claim is closed.

Comments:Help on this term

The general aim of this list is to include all categories that might be of relevance to medical indemnity claims. The medical specialties included in this value domain are taken from the List of Australian Recognised Medical Specialties, a list approved by the Minister for Health and Ageing (AMC 2013) and from the lists of clinical specialties developed by various health authorities for use in their medical indemnity data collections.

The categories of medical specialists align well between the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (2006) National Claims and Policies Database (NCPD) and the Medical Indemnity National Collection (MINC). The NCPD specifications have separate codes for several allied health and complementary fields which are subsumed within the MINC category ‘Other allied health (including complementary medicine)'. In the NCPD, ‘student practitioner or intern’ is a separate category. The MINC codes students based on the speciality they are training in, and classifies interns with ‘Other hospital-based medical practitioners’ (AIHW 2013).

Recording the specialty of the individual clinician at this data element does not imply that the individual was 'at fault'. These individuals may or may not be defendants in the medical indemnity claim.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Steward:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Reference documents:Help on this term

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2013. Australia's medical indemnity claims 2011–12. Safety and quality of health care series no.14. Cat. no. HSE 137. Canberra: AIHW

AMC (Australian Medical Council) 2013. The List of Australian Recognised Medical Specialties. Canberra. Viewed 17 July 2013,

APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) 2006. Data specifications National Claims and Policies Database Document Number 3.1. Canberra: APRA

Faculty of Pain Medicine 2003. Application for specialty recognition by the Faculty of Pain Medicine to the Australian Medical Council. Melbourne: Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Viewed 25 May 2011,

RANZCOG (The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) 2013. About the specialty. Viewed 17 July 2013,

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

This data element should record the specialty of the clinician who played the most prominent role in the incident that gave rise to the medical indemnity claim; that is, the individual whose actions or omissions are directly implicated in ‘what went wrong’. The individual may or may not be a defendant in the medical indemnity claim.

Only one code may be selected for this data element.

The principal clinician specialty should usually relate to the primary incident or allegation type.

For a particular clinician, the specialty recorded should be the main clinical area in which that clinician has formal qualifications (or, in the case of a specialist-in-training, is working towards gaining formal qualifications), and/or in which that clinician primarily practices. The specialty recorded may not be the area in which the clinician was working at the time of the incident. For example, if a clinician involved in the incident was a general surgeon, but was working in the Emergency department when the incident occurred, Code 25 ‘General surgery’ should be recorded.

Where a private doctor was closely involved in the incident, the specialty of the private doctor should be recorded.

This data element should be completed on the basis of available information about the specialty of clinicians closely involved in the incident; specialty should not be assumed based on other information. For example, if the incident occurred in the course of repair to an aortic abdominal aneurysm, Code 66 ’Vascular surgery’ should only be recorded where there is information to confirm that a vascular surgeon was among the clinicians involved.

Where a registrar was closely involved in the incident, the specialty for which the registrar was training at the time of the incident should be recorded.

Where no clinical staff were involved in the incident (for example where the medical indemnity claim relates to actions of hospital administrative staff) Code 97 ‘Not applicable’ should be recorded.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare
Steward:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Health-care incident—additional clinician specialty involved in health-care incident, clinical specialties code N[N] Health, Standard 21/11/2013

Supersedes Health-care incident—principal clinician specialty involved in health-care incident, clinical specialties code N[N] Health, Superseded 21/11/2013

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Medical indemnity NBPDS 2014- Health, Standard 21/11/2013

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