Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Open Access Status
Place of publication
North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Health Information Management Association of Australia
Collections of routine, or 'administrative', hospital data have many applications in health care and are now recognised as valuable sources of information. In recent decades, administrative data have been seen primarily as funding and billing tools to assist with the reimbursement of hospitals for services provided; this purpose remains the primary focus of the clinical coder workforce. More recently, hospital data have been recognised as valuable resources for a range of health system improvement processes beyond funding. The focus of this paper is to review and demonstrate the diverse uses of administrative data in health services research and quality improvement. By gaining an understanding of how the data are used, we can appreciate the importance of good quality data from the perspective of its multiple uses. This paper describes a sample of the studies conducted in Australia using administrative data in health care improvement.