The hospital-acquired complications groupers

Two groupers have been developed to support the implementation of the hospital-acquired complications (HACs) list. These tools that can be used by hospitals, health services and system managers to identify and monitor HACs.

The groupers are in Excel and SAS and use existing data that is routinely generated from the patient medical record in accordance with the specifications developed by the Commission. The groupers were developed by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority in consultation with the Commission.

The groupers currently identify HACs using the seventh to tenth editions of the ICD-10-AM. 

Note: ‘Unplanned return to operating theatre’ (METeOR identifier: 578317), is not currently in the National Minimum Data Set and is therefore not used in these groupers.

The Commission recommends that users of the groupers download the specifications for the HACs list to better understand the list.

HACs Excel grouper

This Excel spreadsheet allows hospitals to identify HACs using their admitted patient data according to the specifications established by the Commission without specialist statistical software.

Note: The HACs excel grouper includes dummy data to assist in understanding of the required formatting of the data and the functioning of the grouper. These data need to be deleted before using the grouper.

Detailed instructions for the Excel grouper

Clear all data from the worksheets using the:

  • 'Clear All' button on the 'RawData' worksheet. This clears all data in the worksheet starting from row 5
  • 'Clear Table' button on the 'HACs Episodes' worksheet. This clears all data in the worksheet starting from row 5.

Enter the admitted patient data into 'RawData' worksheet using the format provided in the “Dictionary” worksheet. Note that:

  • ICD-10-AM codes and the corresponding condition onset flag (COF) must be concatenated within the same cell using this format – the COF code followed by the ICD-10-AM code with the ‘.’ removed.
  • ICD-10-AM codes (diagnosis and external cause codes) should be entered before procedure codes
  • The 'Clear Blanks' button can be used to get rid of any records in the 'RawData' worksheet with empty diagnosis and procedure code arrays in a whole line.

Run the grouper by clicking the 'Run HACs Grouper' button on the 'RawData' worksheet. This button runs the HACs grouping process using the data stored in 'RawData' worksheet. The 'HACs Episodes' worksheet will be populated with the output. Columns FD to GP shows the HACs that have been identified in each episode of care. 

HACs SAS grouper

This grouper is a package of SAS programs that allows hospitals to identify HACs using their admitted patient data according to the specifications established by the Commission. This grouper requires specific software and expertise to use.

Further information

For queries about the technical aspects of the groupers contact: enquiries.ihpa@ihpa.gov.au.

For queries and feedback about the HACs list contact: indicators@safetyandquality.gov.au.