This factsheet is targeted at users of hospital data from the National Minimum Dataset (NMDS).
When looking at data from the NMDS, such as hospitalisations for certain diagnoses, it is important to consider short stay emergency department events. From July 1999 to June 2012, Districts had differing admission practices, which resulted in differences in the data reported. From 1 July 2012, all Districts were reporting short stay emergency department events consistently. Therefore excluding these events from analyses of hospital data for the years prior to 2012/13 is recommended.
It is evident from the figure below that short stay emergency department events were reported inconsistently over time and by different Districts. By excluding the data that is inconsistently reported, the remaining data can be used to make meaningful comparisons across years and Districts. This exclusion method is used in the analysis of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in the annual Suicide Facts publication. The method of exclusion is described further in the notes below.
Figure 1: Comparing the number of short stay emergency department events for four example DHBs, 1995/96–2012/13
Excluding short stay emergency department events has different effects on the data depending on the cause of the hospitalisation.
For example, there was greater variation in short stay emergency department reporting for intentional self-harm hospitalisations compared to asthma hospitalisations from 2000/01 to 2012/13 (Figure 2). It is important to bear this in mind when analysing hospital information.
Figure 2: Comparison of short stay emergency department hospitalisations by certain causes, 2000/01–2012/13
This factsheet was published in June 2015.
The Ministry of Health defines short stay emergency department events as any hospital discharge where both:
- length of stay is zero or one midnight spent in hospital
- health specialty code is M05, M06, M07 or M08.
Further information on health specialty codes can be found in the health specialty code table.
Hospitalisations represent individual events rather than individual people; that is, a single person can contribute multiple unique events to the data set.
The Ministry is endeavouring to address inconsistencies in the collection of short stay emergency department data, however filtering cannot completely eliminate differences caused by different methods of managing patients and keeping records.
For further information contact:
|Postal address:||Analytical Services
Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013
|Phone:||(04) 496 2000|
- Date of publication: 30 June 2015
- Citation: Ministry of Health. 2015. Factsheet: Short stay emergency department events. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
- Ordering information: Only soft copy available to download
- Copyright status: Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.