[WWW - 2021.12.16]
Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040087
Metadata Item Type
Data Element
Data Element Type
Data Element
Approval Status
Approval Type
Approving Authority
Information Management Strategic Governance Committee (IMSGC), Queensland Health
Effective From
Effective To
A clinical assessment of the urgency with which a patient requires elective surgery.
Elective surgery/Waiting list
Short Name
Urgency category
Name in Other Contexts
Representational Attributes
Representation Class
Minimum Character Length
Maximum Character Length
Permissible Values
1Procedures that are clinically indicated within 30 days
2Procedures that are clinically indicated within 90 days
3Procedures that are clinically indicated within 365 days
Supplementary Values
Collection and Usage Attributes
Guide for Use
All patients registered on an elective surgery waiting list must be assigned to one of the clinical urgency categories by a treating clinician. The clinical urgency category should be appropriate to the patient and their clinical situation and not influenced by the perceived or actual availability of hospital or surgeon resources.

Reclassification of clinical urgency category can occur following a review of the patient by the treating specialist, or an appropriate clinical delegate acting on behalf of the treating specialist, with the reason for change to be recorded in the patient's medical record.

The clinical urgency category provided must be the category at the time of the removal of the patient (for Part A) or at the census date (for Part B).
Verification Rules
Elective Surgery Waiting List Data Collection: Must not be null.
Collection Methods
The treating clinician is the clinician with responsibility for the patient at the time of urgency categorisation.
The clinical situation of the patient is taken to encompass the patient's medical condition and the patient's life circumstances, including issues related to activity limitations, restrictions in participation in employment and other life situations, carer responsibilities and access to carer and other supports.
A patient's classification may change if he or she undergoes clinical review during the waiting period. The need for clinical review varies with the patient's condition and is therefore at the discretion of the treating clinician.
Categorisation of waiting list patients by clinical urgency assists hospital management and clinicians in the prioritisation of their workloads. It gives health consumers a reasonable estimate of the maximum time they should expect to wait for care. Clinical urgency classification allows a meaningful measure of system performance to be calculated, namely the number or proportion of patients who wait for times in excess of the maximum desirable time limit for their urgency category (metadata item the overdue patient status).
Refer to Healthcare Improvement Unit (HIU) for elective surgery information reporting: <INTERNAL QH LINK NOT AVAILABLE>
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References
Has been superseded by Elective surgery waiting list episode-clinical urgency assessment category QH 040087 Version 4
Is used in conjunction with Elective care waiting list episode-listing date for care QH 040359 Version 3
Relates to Elective surgery QH 040156 Version 2
Relates to Elective surgery waiting list episode QH 041716 Version 1
Supersedes Elective surgery waiting list episode-clinical urgency assessment category QH 040087 Version 2
Implementation in Metadata Sets


  • 1 - 1
ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Set TypeNameAscendingIdentifier & VersionObligationEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData CollectionElective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC)QH 020110 Version 1Mandatory01-Jul-201530-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-clinical urgency, code N, Identifier 598034, Health standard 12/06/2015 https://meteor.aihw.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/598034/meteorItemView/long