[WWW - 2021.12.16]
Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 041721
Metadata Item Type
Data Element
Data Element Type
Data Element
Approval Status
Approval Type
Approving Authority
Effective From
Effective To
An indicator of the person's readiness to begin the process leading directly to being admitted to hospital for the awaited procedure.
Elective surgery/Waiting list
Short Name
Ready for care status
Name in Other Contexts
Representational Attributes
Representation Class
Minimum Character Length
Maximum Character Length
Permissible Values
1Ready for care
2Not ready for care
Supplementary Values
Collection and Usage Attributes
Guide for Use
A patient may be 'ready for care' or 'not ready for care'. Ready for care patients are those who are prepared to be admitted to hospital or to begin the process leading directly to admission. These could include investigations/procedures done on an outpatient basis, such as autologous blood collection, pre-operative diagnostic imaging or blood tests. Not ready for care patients are those who are not in a position to be admitted to hospital. These patients are either:
- staged patients whose medical condition will not require or be amenable to surgery until some future date; for example, a patient who has had internal fixation of a fractured bone and who will require removal of the fixation device after a suitable time; or
- deferred patients who for personal reasons are not yet prepared to be admitted to hospital; for example, patients with work or other commitments which preclude their being admitted to hospital for a time.

Not ready for care patients could be termed staged and deferred waiting list patients, although currently health authorities may use different terms for the same concepts.

Staged and deferred patients should not be confused with patients whose operation is postponed for reasons other than their own unavailability, for example; surgeon unavailable, operating theatre time unavailable owing to emergency workload. These patients are still 'ready for care'.
Verification Rules
Collection Methods
Periods when patients are not ready for care should be excluded in determining 'Waiting time (at removal)' and 'Waiting time (at a census date)'.
The dates when a patient listing status changes need to be recorded. A patient's classification may change if he or she is examined by a clinician during the waiting period, i.e. undergoes clinical review. The need for clinical review varies with the patient's condition and is therefore at the discretion of the treating clinician. The waiting list information system should be able to record dates when the classification is changed (metadata item Category reassignment date).  
At the Waiting Times Working Group meeting on 9 September 1996, it was agreed to separate the metadata items Patient listing status, readiness for care and Clinical urgency as the combination of these items had led to confusion.
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References
Implementation in Metadata Sets


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ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Set TypeNameAscendingIdentifier & VersionObligationEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData CollectionElective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC)QH 020110 Version 1Mandatory30-Sep-201230-Jun-2016
Data Quality Declaration
Source and Reference Attributes
Source Organisation
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Source Document
METeOR data element: Elective surgery waiting list episode- patient listing status, readiness for care code N, Identifier 471698, Health standard 02/05/2013 https://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/471698/meteorItemView/long