Review and update of the Service Related Groups and Enhanced Service Related Groups

NSW Ministry of Health, 2009 and 2014

Service Related Groups (SRGs) and Enhanced Service Related Groups (ESRGs) have been used in NSW since the early 1990s, and were adopted nationally in the late 1990s. SRGs reflect clinical specialties, while ESRGs provide more detail of major conditions and procedures within the specialties. These classifications, along with others such as Peer Hospital Groups, provide the NSW health system with robust tools for planning, funding and other strategic initiatives.

In 2009 HPA was engaged to update these classifications due to changed clinical practice, morbidity amongst the population, and changes to the underlying clinical coding systems.

Members of Health Policy Analysis - Deniza Mazevska and Jim Pearse - were part of the team that initially developed these classifications whilst working for the then NSW Department of Health. Since then, Health Policy Analysis has reviewed these classifications for the Ministry of Health, to align with changes in clinical practice and changes in the profile of the conditions for which patients are being hospitalised. These changes are reflected in the updates to systems on which the SRGs and ESRG are based, which are AR-DRGs and the International Classification of Diseases – 10th Revision – Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) suite of products (i.e. including the diagnosis and procedure coding systems).

In 2014, Health Policy Analysis was re-engaged to update the SRGs and ESRGs. For this review, HPA analysed NSW hospital activity data, analysed changes in the ICD-10-AM and AR-DRG classifications, ran a workshop involving health service planners and other stakeholders to present preliminary results, and investigated further issues raised at the workshop to finalise the classifications and produce the accompanying report.