Admitted acute care

Acute care is care in which the primary clinical purpose or treatment goal is to:

  • manage labour (obstetric)
  • cure illness or provide definitive treatment of injury
  • perform surgery
  • relieve symptoms of illness or injury (excluding palliative care)
  • reduce severity of an illness or injury
  • protect against exacerbation and/or complication of an illness and/or injury which could threaten life or normal function
  • perform diagnostic or therapeutic procedures

Acute care excludes care which meets the definition of mental health care.

All public and private hospitals in Australia group admitted acute episodes of care to the Australian Refined Diagnosis Related Group (AR-DRG) classification system.

The AR-DRG classification system is a patient classification system that provides a clinically meaningful way of relating the types of patients treated in a hospital to the resources it requires. AR-DRGs consists of approximately 800 patient classes with each patient being classified based on their diagnoses, interventions and other routinely collected data. Read more about the AR-DRG classification system here.

Users of the classification system include clinical coders, clinicians, researchers, epidemiologists, public health officials, state and territory health agencies, health funds, public and private hospitals, health economists and statisticians.

Key documents

Key links