Case study 9: Cross border hospital use

People travel and move around more often than ever before, and Australians are no exception. This study explored cross-border hospital use and hospital-related deaths (i.e. dies in hospital or within 30 days of leaving hospital) in Australia. The researchers found that:

  • More people from NSW were admitted to hospitals across a state border than people from QLD, SA or WA. The majority of these people from NSW were hospitalised in QLD.
  • NSW hospitals transferred patients to hospitals across a state border more than other states while QLD and SA received most of these patients.
  • The state of WA received the lowest number of interstate patients and fewest acute care cross-border hospital transfers.
  • QLD hospitals had the highest proportions of hospital stays by people who had re-located to live in QLD, with the most people coming from NSW.
  • 1.4% of hospital deaths between 2004 and 2009 were patients who died in a state which was not their home state.

How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
Hospital discharge and death registration data was obtained from data custodians and data linkage units from each of the four jurisdictions, NSW, WA, SA and QLD. The Centre for Data Linkage linked the hospital discharge and death registration data from the four jurisdictions – a total of 44 million records – for the research team to analyse.

Authors/Contributors
Spilsbury K, Rosman D, Alan J, Boyd JH, Ferrante AM, Semmens JB.

Reference
Spilsbury K, Rosman D, Alan J, Boyd JH, Ferrante AM, Semmens JB. 2015. Cross border hospital use: analysis using data linkage across four Australian states. Medical Journal of Australia 202(11):582-6. Accessed 12 April 2016 <https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/202/11/cross-border-hospital-use-analysis-using-data-linkage-across-four-australian>