National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition)

The NSQHS Standards (second edition) are now available.

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards addresses gaps identified in the first edition, including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. It also updates the evidence for actions, consolidates and streamlines standards and actions to make them clearer and easier to implement.

Health service organisations will be assessed to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards from January 2019.

The Commission's National Model Clinical Governance Framework is also available now. Building on the NSQHS Standards, the Framework provides information about corporate and clinical governance, and roles and responsibilities for people within a health service organisation.

The Commission has developed a range of other resources to support implementation of the NSQHS Standards.

For more information on the second edition and related resources please contact the National Standards team on 1800 304 056 or

Understanding health research tool

Understanding health research: A tool for making sense of health studies is a tool designed to help people understand and review published health research to decide how dependable and relevant a particular study is.

The tool askes a series of questions to ask about the specific study the user is concerned about, and explains what the answers to those questions mean in terms of the quality of the research. Funded by the Medical Research Council in the UK, the site also has some very useful links to sources of pre-appraised research, other critical appraisal tools and handy scientific information like common sources of bias, correlation versus causation and sampling methods.

Maternal deaths in Australia 2012-2014 [AIHW]

The maternal mortality rate in Australia in 2012-2014 was 6.8 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth, which is among the lowest rates in the world. The most common causes of maternal death were bleeding in the brain and in the abdomen (non-obstetric haemorrhage). Women over the age of 35 and under 20 were more likely to die in association with childbirth.

Download report: Maternal deaths in Australia 2012-2014.

Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006-07 to 2015-16 [AIHW]

This report presents information on admitted patient hospitalisations that were completely or partially funded by private health insurance in Australia's public and private hospitals over the past 10 years. It compares private health insurance-funded hospitalisations with hospitalisations for public patients and patients funded by other sources. Private health insurance is funding a growing proportion of public hospital admissions-rising from about 1 in 12 in 2006-07, to 1 in 7 in 2015-16.

Media release: National report presents information on private health insurance use in public and private hospitals.

Download report: Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals, 2006-07 to 2015-16.

Health-adjusted life expectancy in Australia: expected years lived in full health 2011 [AIHW]

Health-adjusted life expectancy reflects the average length of time an individual can expect to live without disease or injury.

This report shows that: health-adjusted life expectancy increased comparably to life expectancy; and that people in Remote and very remote areas and people in the lowest socioeconomic group expected both shorter lives and fewer years in full health compared with their counterparts in Major cities and the highest socioeconomic group.

Download report: Health-adjusted life expectancy in Australia: expected years lived in full health 2011.

Residential aged care: 10 questions to ask

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) have produced a series of leaflets aimed at informing consumers about what questions to ask when looking for suitable residential aged care. Titled 10 Questions to Ask, these leaflets have been developed by experts in each area, and consumer tested by advocacy groups involved in the NSW Aged Care Roundtable.

Staffing, Oral health, Rural and Remote, ATSI, Palliative Care, LGBTI and GP services are among those released, with further leaflets on Older Peoples Mental Health and Dementia at the consumer testing stage.

You can find the available leaflets – and the list of supporting organisations at the following link:

Health services must stop leaving older people behind—WHO

WHO's new Guidelines on integrated care for older people recommend ways community-based services can help prevent, slow or reverse declines in physical and mental capacities among older people. The guidelines also require health and social care providers to coordinate their services around the needs of older people through approaches such as comprehensive assessment and care plans.

'The world's health systems aren't ready for older populations', says Dr John Beard, Director of the Department of Ageing and Life course at WHO.

WHO Guidelines on Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE)

WHO Media Release.

Trends in Indigenous mortality and life expectancy 2001-2015 [AIHW]

This report examines Indigenous mortality and life expectancy during the period 2001 to 2015, based on evidence from the Enhanced Mortality Database.

* The study observed increases in life expectancy during the study period for both Indigenous males and females across most jurisdictions.
* Life expectancy however increased faster among non-Indigenous than among Indigenous males and females.
* As a result, there was little change in the life expectancy gap.

Download report: Trends in Indigenous mortality and life expectancy 2001-2015.

Access to health services by Australians with disability [AIHW]

People with disability use a range of mainstream health services-such as GPs, medical specialists and dentists. Some experience difficulties in accessing these services, such as unacceptable or lengthy waiting times, cost, inaccessibility of buildings, and discrimination by health professionals.

Download web: Access to health services by Australians with disability.

Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009–2014

This report uses linked data to provide a more complete understanding of deaths among people with diagnosed diabetes. It highlights that death rates for people with diabetes are almost double those of other Australians and that people with diabetes are more likely to die prematurely.

Between 2009 and 2014, death rates fell by 20% for people with type 1 diabetes but rose by 10% for those with type 2 diabetes.

Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009–2014.

Emergency department care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics {AIHW}

This report provides information on people who present at emergency departments in Australia, including who used services, why they used them, and how long they had to wait for care.

In 2016–17:

•there were about 7.8 million presentations to Australian public hospital emergency departments, an average of more than 21,000 per day

•patients aged 4 and under (who make up less than 7% of the population) accounted for about 11% of all emergency department presentations

•patients aged 65 and over (who make up about 15% of the population) accounted for more than 21% of emergency department presentations

•about one-quarter (or almost 2 million) of emergency department presentations had a principal diagnosis in the ICD-10-AM chapter Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes

•the two most common individual principal diagnoses reported were Abdominal and pelvic pain (4.3%), and Pain in the throat and chest (3.6%)

•about 73% of all presentations were 'seen on time' (within the clinically recommended time for their triage category), with almost 100% of Resuscitation patients (needs care immediately), 77% of Emergency (needs care within 10 minutes) patients, and 92% of Non-urgent (needs care within 120 minutes) 'seen on time'

•the proportion of presentations that were 'seen on time' ranged from 61% in the Northern Territory to 81% in New South Wales

•about 72% of emergency department presentations were completed in 4 hours or less, varying from 64% in South Australia and the Northern Territory to 75% in New South Wales

•about 31% of patients were admitted to hospital after their emergency department care; 49% were admitted in 4 hours or less, and 90% within 10 hours and 44 minutes.

Between 2012–13 and 2016–17:

•presentations to emergency departments increased by 3.7% on average each year. After adjusting for coverage changes, presentations increased by an estimated 2.6% on average each year

•the proportion of presentations that were 'seen on time' (within the clinically recommended time) was fairly stable across the period, ranging from 73% (in 2012–13 and 2016–17) to 75% (in 2013–14)

•the proportion of emergency department presentations completed in 4 hours or less rose from 67% in 2012–13 to 73% in 2015–16, and decreased to 72% in 2016–17.

Emergency department care 2016–17: Australian hospital statistics.