One in three at hospital last year
pasient, Patient statistics, health regions, health enterprises, diagnoses, illnesses, bed days, admissions, polyclinic consultations, doctor's visits, day treatmentHealth services , Health

Patient statistics2010



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One in three at hospital last year

In 2010, about 1.7 million persons were examined or treated at general hospitals in Norway. These persons were either in-patients, persons with day cases or out-patients.

Since the data from the Norwegian Patient Register now contains personal identification codes, we can tell the actual number of people being treated in hospitals. The number of in-patients in 2010 was 560 000, and these persons had more than 850 000 hospital stays. There was an increase in the number of stays of almost 2 000 from the previous year.

The most common cause for admission was cardiovascular diseases, which led to nearly 116 000 hospital stays. If we count persons, 11 387 were admitted with a first time acute heart infarction.

Change in the statistical unit

A change in the health register law on 1 March 2008 paved the way for making the Norwegian Patient Register personal identity number based. Consequently, it is now possible to produce statistics with persons as a unit in the statistics in addition to hospital stays, day cases and out-patient consultations. The figures for stays and treatments will be linked to persons via their personal identity number. Statistics Norway now publishes statistics with person as a unit for the fist time, based on the 2010 data.

Shorter hospital stays

The average length of stay continues to decline. In 2010 there were 4.5 bed-days per hospital stay, down from 4.6 in 2009 and 5.1 in 2005.

Fifty-five per cent of hospital stays took place in institutions connected to the Regional Health Authority for south-east Norway. In the country as a whole, only one per cent of the hospital stays took place in the private commercial hospitals.

Many treatments for musculoskeletal diseases

A total of 4.7 million out-patient consultations were performed at general hospitals in 2010, and almost 430 000 day cases. (These figures are not quite comparable to previous years, see the box below.) A total of 13.4 per cent of the day cases were due to diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. This diagnostic group was also a common reason for out-patient consultations, with 9.2 per cent of the total, as well as injuries and poisonings and cancer.

In 2010, there were more out-patient consultations for women than for men, with 55 per cent. Some of this difference is due to women being given follow-ups in connection with pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period.

Number of persons with at least one treatment at general hospitals, by sex. 20101
  In total Men Women
Total number of patients at general hospitals 1 702 088  778 684  923 404
In-patients  560 234  246 377  313 857
Number of patients with day cases  211 323 92 109  119 214
Out-patients 1 504 859  684 641  820 218
1  One person can have more than one kind of treatment.

Differences from the Norwegian Patient Register

The patient statistics from Statistics Norway are based on data from the Norwegian Patient Register (NPR), Norwegian Directorate of Health. The population for the patient statistics in Statistics Norway covers the activity in general hospitals according to the definition in the Register of Business Enterprises. This definition deviates somewhat from the population that NPR uses in their statistics, which covers all institutions with activity-based financing.

Main diagnosis and disease classification

A main diagnosis is given to a condition that is the primary reason for an examination or treatment given in hospital. If a patient has more than one condition, the most resource-demanding diagnosis is registered. The patient statistics are based on the international classification of diseases ICD-10.

Day cases and out-patient consultations not comparable with previous years

Because of changes in the hospital financing system, there have been some alterations in the definitions of day cases and out-patient consultations. The figures cannot, therefore, be directly compared with previous years. The changes are especially due to some kinds of treatment that were previously defined as day cases now being viewed as consultations, such as rehabilitation and chemotherapy. Additionally, radiation treatment has also been included in the statistics (out-patients) for the first time. Some minor surgery that was previously categorised as out-patient treatment, is now counted as day cases.

Patients living abroad and healthy new-borns

Patients treated in Norway, but living abroad, are included in the patient statistics. Patients without a valid municipality number are also included in the statistics. However, this group is not included in tables with figures for diagnoses (1, 2, 7, and 11). These tables show distributions of reasons for treatment in hospitals for the population living in Norway. There were 4 290 hospital stays, 433 day cases and 9 234 out-patient consultations of people living abroad or persons without a valid municipality number in Norwegian hospitals in 2010. In contrast to earlier years, the statistics for 2009 and 2010 also cover healthy new-borns. This gives an increase of 47 526 hospital stays and 108 day cases and one out-patient consultation in the figures for 2010.

Statistics on accounts, hospital beds and personnel in general hospitals will be published by Statistics Norway together with figures for specialist health services on 28 June 2011.