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Radiotherapy waiting times NMDS 2015-2018

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term579304
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Superseded 25/01/2018
DSS type:Help on this termNational Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
Scope:Help on this term

The main purpose of the Radiotherapy waiting times national minimum data set (RWT NMDS) is to describe the information that must be collected to calculate the waiting times for the following time period in the treatment pathway for radiotherapy services in Australia:

The time between the patient's ready-for-care date and the date of the first megavoltage external beam radiotherapy treatment.

Establishments in scope are only those healthcare establishments that provide megavoltage external beam radiotherapy treatment (in-scope radiotherapy treatment). Both public and private establishments are in scope. While it is mandatory for public establishments to report data to the national minimum data set (NMDS), private providers are also encouraged to participate.

The scope is not limited by diagnosis: it includes people with cancer (notifiable and non-notifiable) and people who do not have cancer.

People in scope are those who started a course of radiotherapy treatment within the reference period.

For public establishments, all in-scope activity should be reported, including services provided by specialists operating under right of private practice arrangements.

Collection and usage attributes

Statistical unit:Help on this term

Courses of radiotherapy treatment started.

Guide for use:Help on this term

The table below defines some key concepts used in the Radiotherapy waiting times NMDS. It is assumed that data submitted to the Radiotherapy waiting times NMDS adhere to these definitions. These definitions do not necessarily apply to other data sets.


Key concept Definition
Course of radiotherapy treatment

A course of radiotherapy treatment is a series of one or more radiotherapy treatments prescribed by a radiation oncologist.

A course of radiotherapy treatment should have an associated ready-for-care date and, when treatment starts, a radiotherapy start date.

A patient can receive more than one course of radiotherapy treatment at the same time (i.e. courses which are simultaneous or which overlap). These courses may have the same or different ready-for-care dates and the same or different radiotherapy start dates.

Only a radiation oncologist can prescribe a course of radiotherapy treatment. A prescription is not equal to a course of radiotherapy treatment. A prescription may be for one or more courses of radiotherapy treatment. A prescription outlines the anatomical region/sites to be treated and is for a prescribed dose at a defined volume (fractionation) over a defined period of time.

One course of radiotherapy treatment may cover multiple phases and multiple treatment plans.

The completion of a course of radiotherapy treatment is not relevant to the definition of a course of radiotherapy treatment.


Diagnosis is described either by the principal diagnosis (where radiotherapy is intended as treatment for cancer), or by the principal diagnosis of the disease being treated (where radiotherapy is intended as treatment for a disease other than cancer).

Treatment start

Treatment starts with the first fraction delivered and does not include the planning or simulation stages of radiotherapy.


The statistical unit will be calculated by the AIHW for time period (see Scope above) using the following data elements:

The time in days between Patient—ready-for-care date, DDMMYYYY and Patient—radiotherapy start date, DDMMYYYY.

Implementation start date:Help on this term01/07/2015
Implementation end date:Help on this term30/06/2018
Comments:Help on this term

Glossary items

Glossary terms that are relevant to this National minimum data set are included here.

Course of radiotherapy treatment


Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

NHISSC Radiotherapy Waiting Times Working Group

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also National Radiotherapy Waiting Times Database, 2015–16; Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 16/07/2018

See also National Radiotherapy Waiting Times Database, 2016–17; Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 06/08/2019

See also Person with cancer—clinical emergency indicator, code A WA Health, Endorsed 19/03/2015

See also Person with cancer—intention of treatment, code AAA WA Health, Endorsed 19/03/2015

Supersedes Radiotherapy waiting times DSS 2013-15 Health, Superseded 13/11/2013

Has been superseded by Radiotherapy waiting times NMDS 2018- Health, Standard 25/01/2018, ACT Health, Final 08/08/2018

See also Statistical Area Level 1 of usual residence National Best Endeavours Data Set 2016-17 Health, Superseded 28/02/2017

See also Statistical Area Level 1 of usual residence National Best Endeavours Data Set 2017-18 Health, Superseded 25/01/2018

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
-Address—statistical area, level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2016) N(9)Mandatory1
-Establishment—organisation identifier (Australian), NNX[X]NNNNNMandatory1
-Patient—clinical emergency indicator, yes/no code NMandatory1
-Patient—intention of treatment, code NMandatory1
-Patient—principal diagnosis, (ICD-10-AM 9th edn) ANN{.N[N]}Mandatory1
-Patient—radiotherapy start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Patient—ready-for-care date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Person—area of usual residence, statistical area level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2016) N(9)Mandatory1
-Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Person—Indigenous status, code NMandatory1
-Person—person identifier, XXXXXX[X(14)]Mandatory1
-Person—sex, code NMandatory1
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