Key findings: Total potentially preventable hospitalisations
Nationally, in 2013–14 there were 600,267 hospitalisations for the 22 conditions that are considered potentially preventable. This represented 6% of 9.7 million hospital admissions in that year for public and private hospitals.
Potentially preventable hospitalisations also accounted for nearly 2.4 million bed days, equivalent to 8% of all hospital bed days.
Some people are more likely to be admitted for a potentially preventable hospitalisation than others. In 2013–14, of all potentially preventable hospitalisations, one in five hospitalisations (20%) occurred among people aged 80 years and over, and just over half (51%) were among people aged 60 years and over (Appendix 1).
Accordingly, potentially preventable hospitalisation rates have been age-standardised to enable fairer comparisons between geographic areas. The following findings highlight which Primary Health Network (PHN) areas have higher or lower rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations and bed days.
Variation across local areas
In 2013–14, there was even wider variation in age-standardised rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations across local areas (SA3s). Across more than 300 local areas, rates were nine times higher in some local areas compared to others, ranging from 1,406 hospitalisations per 100,000 people in Pennant Hills-Epping (NSW) to 12,705 per 100,000 in Barkly (NT).
Remoteness and lower socioeconomic status are also factors that influence rates. However, the report also shows large variation in age-standardised rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations across areas that are similar in terms of remoteness and socioeconomic status.
In 2013–14, age-standardised rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations were two times higher across local areas in major cities with lower socioeconomic status, ranging from 1,800 hospitalisations per 100,000 people in Hurstville (NSW) to 4,062 per 100,000 in Mount Druitt (NSW).
Similar results were seen among similar areas in major cities with higher and medium socioeconomic status.
Across inner regional areas, rates were more than two times higher, ranging from 1,611 per 100,000 people in Macedon Ranges (Vic) to 3,513 hospitalisations per 100,000 in Maryborough (Qld).
Across outer regional areas, rates were more than two times higher, ranging from 1,898 per 100,000 people in Huon-Bruny Island (Tas) to 5,022 hospitalisations per 100,000 in Outback North and East (SA).
Across remote areas, rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations were five times higher, ranging from 2,555 per 100,000 people in Esperance (WA) to 12,705 hospitalisations per 100,000 in Barkly (NT).
See results in Figure 3.
Reporting on variation across similar local areas aims to provide health care professionals with information about factors they could influence to improve the coordination of care in the community, working with the hospital sector, to reduce potentially preventable hospitalisations.
Rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations for chronic, acute and vaccine-preventable, and the selected five conditions are provided by geographic area, Chronic conditions, Acute and vaccine-preventable conditions, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Diabetes complications, Heart failure, Cellulitis and Kidney and urinary tract infections sections.
Figure 3: Age-standardised rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations and bed days by local area (SA3s), remoteness and socioeconomic status, 2013–14
|Remoteness/Socioeconomic status||Statistical Area Level 3 name||State||PPH per 100,000 people||Total PPH bed days|
|Major cities – Higher SES||Cleveland - Stradbroke||QLD||2,582||9,476|
|Major cities – Higher SES||Pennant Hills - Epping||NSW||1,406||3,647|
|Major cities – Medium SES||Jimboomba||QLD||3,467||3,220|
|Major cities – Medium SES||Strathfield - Burwood - Ashfield||NSW||1,618||13,104|
|Major cities – Lower SES||Mount Druitt||NSW||4,062||13,559|
|Major cities – Lower SES||Hurstville||NSW||1,800||11,064|
|Inner regional||Macedon Ranges||VIC||1,611||1,853|
|Outer regional||Outback - North and East||SA||5,022||5,928|
|Outer regional||Huon - Bruny Island||TAS||1,898||2,053|
|Remote (incl. very remote)||Barkly||NT||12,705||3,065|
|Remote (incl. very remote)||Esperance||WA||2,555||1,594|
Notes: There are 22 conditions for which a hospitalisation is considered to be potentially preventable. Hospitalisations from both public and private hospitals are included.
Bed days are the number of days an admitted patient is in hospital. A patient admitted and discharged on the same day is allocated one bed day.
Local area (SA3) results have been categorised by remoteness using ABS Remoteness Areas 2011. The Major cities category which contains two-thirds of SA3s has been further categorised by socioeconomic status using the ABS IRSD SEIFA Index 2011.
More information on the categories of remoteness and socioeconomic status can be found at http://www.myhealthycommunities.gov.au and in this report’s Technical Supplement and Glossary. The scale of the y-axis is non-linear above 4,000 to include areas that are outliers.
Sources: National Health Performance Authority analysis of Admitted Patient Care National Minimum Data Set 2013–14, data supplied March 2015; and Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population 30 June 2013.