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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
Free-standing day hospital facilities are classified by the main income earning activity of the centre. The four main types, until 2009-10, were general surgery, specialist endoscopy, ophthalmic & plastic/cosmetic. Six additional activities were collected for the first time in 2010-11. This resulted in a change in the main types of centre reported. In addition to specialist endoscopy, ophthalmic and plastic/cosmetic, there were centres providing services in Gynaecology, Fertility treatment and/or Family Planning.
Coverage includes all private hospitals in Australia which operated for all or only part of the reference year are included in the collection. Updated lists of private hospitals are received throughout the year from state, territory and Commonwealth health authorities and every effort is made to include all hospitals in scope.
Private Hospitals data are published annually on a financial year basis, and are generally released within 12 months of the end of the reference period. For example, 2009–10 Private Hospitals data are released on 17 June 2011. A user review resulting in new data categories had some impact on the release of the 2010-11 data, however this delay is not expected to continue.
Non-sample errors are the main influence on accuracy in datasets which are a complete census of the population rather than a sample. Non-sample error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. The most significant of these errors are: mis-reporting of data items; deficiencies in coverage; non-response to particular questions; and processing errors.
Every effort is made to minimise error by working closely with data providers, the careful design of forms, training of processing staff, and efficient data processing procedures. The changes in form design in 2010-11 and the provision of a web from in 2011-12 are aimed at helping providers to further improve the supply of complete and accurate data.
Establishments which provided incomplete forms were contacted to obtain the missing details. Hospital staff are asked to provide estimates in cases where records for the data item were not kept. If reasonable estimates could not be provided by the establishment then the data item was either left blank (and is therefore not available) or was imputed by ABS staff.
Use of the supporting documentation released with the statistics is important for assessing coherence within the dataset and when comparing the statistics with data from other sources. Changing business rules over time and/or across data sources can affect consistency and hence interpretability of statistical output. The Explanatory Notes in each issue contains information pertinent to this particular release which may impact on comparison over time.
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