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The scope of the Non-admitted patient emergency department care data set specification (NAPEDC DSS) is patients registered for care in emergency departments in public hospitals where the emergency department meets the following criteria:

  • Purposely designed and equipped area with designated assessment, treatment and resuscitation areas.
  • Ability to provide resuscitation, stabilisation and initial management of all emergencies.
  • Availability of medical staff in the hospital 24 hours a day.
  • Designated emergency department nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a designated emergency department nursing unit manager.

Patients who were dead on arrival are in scope if an emergency department clinician certified the death of the patient. Patients who leave the emergency department after being triaged and then advised of alternative treatment options are in scope.

The scope includes only physical presentations to emergency departments. Advice provided by telephone or videoconferencing is not in scope, although it is recognised that advice received by telehealth may form part of the care provided to patients physically receiving care in the emergency department.

The care provided to patients in emergency departments is, in most instances, recognised as being provided to non-admitted patients. Patients being treated in emergency departments may subsequently become admitted (including admission to a short stay unit, admission to elsewhere in the emergency department, admission to another hospital ward, or admission to hospital-in-the-home). All patients remain in-scope for this collection until they are recorded as having physically departed the emergency department, regardless of whether they have been admitted. For this reason there is an overlap in the scope of this DSS and the Admitted patient care national minimum data set (APC NMDS).

Excluded from the scope of the DSS are:

  • Care provided to patients in General Practitioner co-located units;
  • Where only a clerical service is provided to people supporting a pre-arranged admission; and
  • Where people are awaiting transit to another facility and receive no clinical care.

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—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) {NNNN} - - mandatory 1
Emergency department stay—additional diagnosis, code X[X(8)]
Conditional Inclusion:

This data element is only required to be reported when at least one additional diagnosis is present for the emergency department stay.

- - conditional 2
Emergency department stay—diagnosis classification type, code N.N
Conditional Inclusion:
This data element is only required to be reported when a principal diagnosis and/or an additional diagnosis has been reported.
- - conditional 1


Guide for use:

The definition of a 'short stay unit' is as per clause C48 of the National Health Reform Agreement—National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services (NPA IPHS), as follows:

a) Designated and designed for the short term treatment, observation, assessment and reassessment of patients initially triaged and assessed in the emergency department (ED);

b) Have specific admission and discharge criteria and policies;

c) Designed for short term stays no longer than 24 hours;

d) Physically separated from the ED acute assessment area;

e) Have a static number of beds with oxygen, suction, patient ablution facilities; and

f) Not a temporary ED overflow area nor used to keep patients solely awaiting an inpatient bed nor awaiting treatment in the ED.


Scope links with other metadata sets

Episodes of care for admitted patients are reported through the Admitted patient care NMDS.

National Health Reform Agreement—National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services

The scope for reporting against the National Emergency Access Target is all hospitals reporting to the NAPEDC NMDS (Peer groups A, B and other) as at August 2011 (when the Agreement was signed). For the duration of the Agreement, hospitals that have not previously reported to the NAPEDC NMDS can come into scope, subject to agreement between the jurisdiction and the Commonwealth.

Glossary items

Glossary terms that are relevant to this data set specification are included here.


Compensable patient

Emergency department

Registered nurse


Urgency related groups


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