Injury Definitions

Injury is commonly defined as: ‘any unintentional or intentional damage to the body ... caused by acute exposure to physical agents such as mechanical energy, heat, electricity, chemicals, and ionizing radiation interacting with the body in amounts or at rates that exceed the threshold of human tolerance’

Unintentional injuries are unintended, often described as ‘accidents’. We try to avoid using the term ‘accidents’ as it implies that injuries are random events due to chance.

An injury 'hospital admission' is defined as an injury or poisoning that results in the person being admitted to a ward, short stay observation unit, medical assessment and planning unit, intensive care bed, mental health bed, same day accommodation, etc. and who is subsequently discharged alive or dies either on the same day or after one or more nights’ stay in a hospital bed.

Prior to July 2012 this definition included patients whose entire care occurred within an Emergency Department (ED) provided they received a minimum of 4 hours continuous treatment. From July 2012 if the patient’s entire care was provided within a designated emergency department or urgent care centre then the patient can no longer be classified as an admission regardless of the care provided. For more information, please see: VISU e-Bulletins

Geograhical Regions

Local Government Areas (LGAs)

The Local Government Areas in the Atlas are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)’ approximation of gazetted local government boundaries as defined by each State and Territory Local Government Department. Currently there are 79 LGAs in the state of Victoria classified as cities (34), shires (38), rural cities (6) and boroughs (1). LGAs are identified by four-digit codes which are unique only within a State or Territory. The hospital data used in the Atlas contain the LGA code of the usual residence of patients.

Department of Health (DH) Regions and Areas

The 79 LGAs are currently mapped to 17 DH health service areas which map to eight DH [regions] and four DH divisions. They are;

  • Parts of Western District & Barwon [Barwon South Western] and Central Highlands & parts of Western District [Grampians] and Western Melbourne & Brimbank Melton [Northern and Western Metropolitan] all of which come under the West division.
  • Mallee & Loddon [Loddon Mallee] and Hume Moreland & North Eastern Melbourne [Northern and Western Metropolitan] all of which come under the North division.
  • Bayside Peninsula & Southern Melbourne [Southern Metropolitan] and Inner Gippsland & Outer Gippsland [Gippsland] all of which come under the South division.
  • Ovens Murray & Goulburn [Hume] and Outer Eastern Melbourne & Inner Eastern Melbourne [Eastern Metropolitan ] all of which come under the East division.

For further information on LGAs and areas refer here and for details on areas and divisions refer here.

Remoteness Areas

The Remoteness Areas in the Atlas are defined based on the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+) categories by LGAs in 2016. Currently, there are 5 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Areas; they are Major Cities, Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote Australia and Very Remote Australia. ARIA+ categories are based on a measure of relative access to services, which is produced by the Hugo Centre for Population and Housing Research at the University of Adelaide.

For further information on ASGS Remoteness Areas and ARIA+ categories refer here and here

Broad geographic regions (Rural/Metro)

Geographic regions were classified as metropolitan and rural, using the LGA of residence. Metropolitan Melbourne consists of 31 LGAs. They are: Banyule (C), Bayside (C), Boroondara (C), Brimbank (C), Cardinia (S), Casey (C), Darebin (C), Frankston (C), Glen Eira (C), Greater Dandenong (C), Hobsons Bay (C), Hume (C), Kingston (C), Knox (C), Manningham (C), Maribyrnong (C), Maroondah (C), Melbourne (C), Melton (C), Monash (C), Moonee Valley (C), Moreland (C), Mornington Peninsula (S), Nillumbik (S), Port Phillip (C), Stonnington (C), Whitehorse (C), Whittlesea (C), Wyndham (C), Yarra (C) and Yarra Ranges (S). The remaining LGAs are all considered rural Victoria. For further information refer here.

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

SEIFA is a suite of indices that ranks geographic areas in Australia based on the relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage of each area. The indices are compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Each area has a score, rank, decile, and percentile for each index. The SEIFA classification used in the Atlas is based on the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) expressed as state-deciles. LGAs were used as the unit of area for calculating the SEIFA. All LGAs within a state are ordered from lowest to highest score and divided up into ten equal sized groups, depending on their score. A lower decile indicates relatively greater disadvantage. here and here.

Note: SEIFA deciles are updated by the ABS after every census (i.e., every five years). All SEIFA deciles in the Atlas are based on year of admission. Allocation is based on calendar years rather than financial years as the ABS SEIFA codes run on calendar years. It should be noted that after five years certain LGAs may shift to a different decile.