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Definition

The main purpose of the Radiotherapy waiting times data set specification (RWT DSS) is to describe the information that must be collected to calculate the waiting times for two time periods in the treatment pathway for radiotherapy services in Australia:

  1. The time between the date a patient’s first referral is received at a particular establishment by a radiation oncologist to the date of that patient’s first consultation at that establishment with a radiation oncologist; and

  2. 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. It is desirable for both public establishments and private establishments to report data to the DDS.

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, within the reference period:

  • had a first consultation at a particular establishment with a radiation oncologist, but did not start a course of radiotherapy treatment (regardless of whether treatment was prescribed) (consult only—related to wait time period 1 above); or
  • had a first consultation at a particular establishment with a radiation oncologist and started a course of radiotherapy treatment (consult + treatment—related to wait time periods 1 and 2 above); or
  • started a course of radiotherapy treatment but whose first consultation at that establishment with a radiation oncologist was in a previous reference period (treatment only—related to wait time 2 above).

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

Metadata items in this Data Set Specification

Below is a list of all the components within this Dataset Specification.
Each entry includes the item name, whether the item is optional, mandatory or conditional and the maximum times the item can occur in a dataset.
If the items must occur in a particular order in the dataset, the sequence number is included before the item name.


Data Elements

Reference Data Element Data Type Length Inclusion #
Address—statistical area, level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2011) N(9)
Specific Information:
In the Radiotherapy waiting times DSS, this data element describes the geographic code that indicates the service provider organisation's geographic location.
- - mandatory 1
Establishment—organisation identifier (Australian), NNX[X]NNNNN - - mandatory 1
Patient—intention of treatment, code N
Specific Information:

This data element records the intention of treatment for the course of radiotherapy.

Assigning the intention of treatment is a clinical decision by the radiation oncologist.

Individual service providers may use various more detailed sub-categories of intention of treatment, these sub-categories should be mapped to one of the categories in this data element.

If the intention of a course of radiotherapy treatment changes during the planning or delivery of a course of radiotherapy treatment, the new intention of treatment should be reported, not the original intent of treatment. Separate courses delivered to a patient may have different intentions of treatment.
Conditional Inclusion:
This item must be completed if Patient—radiotherapy start date, DDMMYYYY exists.
Number 1 conditional 1
Person with cancer—primary site of cancer, code (ICD-10-AM 7th edn) ANN{.N[N]}
Conditional Inclusion:
This data element should be provided for all patients receiving services for a cancer-related diagnosis.
- - conditional 1
Person—area of usual residence, statistical area level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS 2011) N(9) String 9 mandatory 1
Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYY Date/Time 8 mandatory 1
Person—Indigenous status, code N Number 1 mandatory 1
Person—person identifier, XXXXXX[X(14)] - - mandatory 1
Person—sex, code N Number 1 mandatory 1

Comments

Guide for use:

The table below defines some key concepts used in the Radiotherapy waiting times DSS. It is assumed that data submitted to the Radiotherapy waiting times DSS 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

Diagnosis may be described either by the principal diagnosis and primary site of cancer (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 periods 1 and 2 (see Scope above) using the following data elements:

For waiting period 1, AIHW will calculate the time in days between 'Health service event—service request received date, DDMMYYYY' and 'Health service event—first service contact date, DDMMYYYY'.

For waiting period 2, AIHW will calculate the time in days between 'Patient—ready-for-care date, DDMMYYYY' and 'Patient—radiotherapy start date, DDMMYYYY'.

References

Related content

Relation Count
As a numerator in an Indicator 0
As a denominator in an Indicator 0
As a disaggregation in an Indicator 0