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National Patient Flow Phase 1


The purpose of the phase 1 National Patient Flow is to collect First Specialist Assessment referral information, including outcomes. This information will provide the first view of the patient’s secondary care pathway.


The information gathered will be specifically about referrals that request First Specialist Assessments and will include the specified information pertaining to the following events that the referral will encounter:

  • Referral Received
  • Triage
  • Notification
  • Booking
  • Assessment
  • Exception Handling (due to patient circumstances)
  • Discharge (when it occurs as a result of the previous events).

Start Date

District Health Boards are required to report all referrals for First Specialist Assessment that are received from 1 July 2014.

Collection methods – guide for providers

Data is provided by public hospitals in New Zealand for publicly funded services, including those provided in private hospitals.

Frequency of Updates

DHBs submit data weekly.

Security of Data

The National Patient Flow database is only accessed by authorised National Collections and Reporting staff for maintenance, data quality, analytical and audit purposes.

A limited number of authorised members of the Ministry of Health staff have access to the data for analytical purposes via the Secure Health Information Network.

Privacy issues

The Ministry of Health is required to ensure that the release of information recognises any legislation related to the privacy of health information, in particular the Official Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 2020 and the Health Information Privacy Code 2020.

Information available to the general public is of a statistical and non-identifiable nature. Researchers requiring identifiable data will usually need approval from an Ethics Committee and comply with the Information Release Policy .

National reports and publications

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).