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The new collection will provide information on the patients referred for specialist services, the outcome of referrals and the time it takes patients to access care. National Patient Flow will contribute to better integrated care so that patients can receive the most appropriate services, in the right setting and in a timely way to improve overall health outcomes. It will capture the outcome of the referral decision so that the demand for services and whether it is being appropriately met can be better understood. It will connect related patient referrals and activities to provide a complete view of the patient’s secondary care

Start Dates

  • Phase 1 National Patient Flow: Collection of first specialist assessment referral information, including outcomes - 1 July 2014
  • Phase 2 National Patient Flow: Collection of other non-admitted and inpatient referral information - 1 October 2015
  • Phase 3 National Patient Flow: Collection of the enhanced dataset for the full National Patient Flow - 1 July 2016

National reports and publications

Some National Patient Flow information is already available at a national level from existing collections primarily providing an event specific rather than a patient centred view. Over time the National Patient Flow collection is expected to replace the National Booking and Reporting System (NBRS) and manual collections that DHBs provide to the Ministry for some clinically agreed waiting time measures.

From April 2016, the Ministry of Health will publish developmental data from the National Patient Flow Collection, with a focus on the outcome of First Specialist Assessment referrals (relates to the purpose Phase 1 of the programme).