The classification employs a system of urgency categorisation based on factors such as the degree of pain, dysfunction and disability caused by the condition and its potential to deteriorate quickly into an emergency. All patients ready for care must be assigned to one of the urgency categories, regardless of how long it is estimated they will need to wait for surgery.
Code 1 Elective surgery - category 1
Admission within 30 days desirable for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point that it may become an emergency.
Code 2 Elective surgery - category 2
Admission within 90 days desirable for a condition causing some pain, dysfunction or disability but which is not likely to deteriorate quickly or become an emergency.
Code 3 Elective surgery - category 3
Admission at some time in the future acceptable for a condition causing minimal or no pain, dysfunction or disability, which is unlikely to deteriorate quickly and which does not have the potential to become an emergency.
Codes 4, 5 and 6 are non-surgery codes.
Code 4 Other - category 1
The procedure should be performed within 30 days.
It applies for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point that it might become an emergency and has a high likelihood of significant pathology.
Code 5 Other - category 2
The procedure should be performed within 90 days.
It applies for a condition that is likely to deteriorate significantly if left untreated beyond 90 days and has a lower likelihood of significant pathology.
Code 6 Other - category 3
The procedure should be performed within 365 days.
It applies for a condition that is unlikely to deteriorate quickly and does not have the potential to become an emergency.
Code 9 Surveillance procedure
The procedure is required to be performed as part of an ongoing observational program, usually to monitor a patient with an existing condition or for a patient at risk of developing a condition. A patient's initial procedure should be categorised as urgent, semi-urgent or non-urgent and a surveillance procedure as part of a surveillance program should be categorised as surveillance.
Code E Emergency priority category
Non critical: Patient is sent home to return for scheduled emergency surgery within 10 days of the decisioin for surgery being made.