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Overview

Publicly reporting hospital performance data aims to empower clinicians, service providers, hospital and health system managers and others to drive improvements, and increase transparency and accountability within the health system.

The statistics presented on this website are the most up-to-date nationally consistent data available at the hospital level.

Individual states and territories may have more recent hospital statistics available, but they are not necessarily comparable between jurisdictions.

Find out more about MyHospitals

Data collection

MyHospitals includes information provided by Australian hospitals that is routinely collected through a variety of administrative arrangements, contractual requirements and legislation.

The data are largely provided to the National Health Performance Authority (Performance Authority) by data custodians, such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), which collect the data from state and territory health authorities under various administrative processes. The data are then supplied to the Performance Authority to analyse and create nationally consistent information on the comparable performance of public hospitals.

Data are provided according to nationally agreed definitions as detailed in the Metadata Online Registry (METeOR)[http://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/181162 ]. The Performance Authority undertakes a data requirements gathering exercise each year, detailing all of the data it requires to publicly report on Australian hospitals against the indicators outlined in the Performance and Accountability Framework. These requirements and plans for reporting are then sent to all Health Ministers for approval.

Although there are national standards for data on hospital services, there are some variations in how hospital services are defined and counted between public and private hospitals, among the states and territories, and over time. This can affect the suitability for comparison of some hospital data published on this website. When this occurs data are clearly identified in tables and graphics as not comparable.

Participation in MyHospitals by private hospitals is voluntary. The website currently includes information for more than 200 private hospitals, and more may be added over time. Private hospitals include acute care and psychiatric hospitals as well as private free-standing day hospital facilities. Data are supplied directly to the Performance Authority from private hospitals upon request.

Data quality assurance

States and territories are primarily responsible for the quality of data they provide. Routine data quality checks are conducted by the states and territories prior to submission to data custodians such as AIHW. Data are checked for valid values, and for internal and historical consistency. Data received by the Performance Authority will then be subject to our own quality assurance processes for publication of performance information and analysis. If data are incomplete or not correct, the Performance Authority will contact the respective data supplier to query and correct errors.

Hospitals may differ from each other on performance indicators for a number of reasons. It can be useful to consider:

  • Whether there are actual differences in performance
  • Whether the differences are meaningful in terms of patient experiences or clinical outcomes
  • Whether differences are caused or influenced by variations in data classification or recording practices between hospitals or across time
  • Whether differences are influenced by variations in the complexity of the patients treated.

The amount of information displayed on MyHospitals varies between hospitals. Detailed data are not available for all types of services, and are not shown if the hospital provided the service to fewer than five people in the reference year. In this case, data are suppressed to protect privacy. Data are not available for all hospitals, particularly small hospitals and those in remote areas. Smaller hospitals offer a limited range of services, because patients requiring more specialised services are often referred to a larger hospital. Other information that may be relevant to smaller hospitals cannot yet be measured and reported in a nationally consistent manner.

National hospital information does not contain personal information such as your name or address. The data cannot be used to trace the information to a specific case or individual. As an additional confidentiality measure, the exact number of cases for categories based on fewer than five records at a given hospital are not shown.

An exception to this is the reporting of the number of cases of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (bacteraemia). For this measure, small counts are relevant to report, as the aim is to have as few cases as possible.

Definition of public hospitals

Public hospitals are defined for this website (and for other national hospital reporting) by states and territories. They usually correspond to physical buildings or campuses but may encompass some outpost locations such as dialysis units, and can also be grouped into networks for some reporting purposes. Sometimes, hospitals on the one 'campus' can be reported as separate entities if, for example, they are managed separately.

Statistical methods

An overview of the methodology behind the statistics on MyHospitals is included in the links to each measure below with comments about known issues of comparability within or between hospitals.

Hospital services

Safety & quality

Waiting times for care

Time spent in hospitals and emergency departments