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Urgency Disposition Groups

The Urgency Disposition Groups (UDG) classification was implemented by the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) to classify emergency services from 1 July 2012.

UDGs are used to group emergency service presentations using aggregate level data, namely: type of visit, episode end status and triage. The classification groups into 17 end classes. UDG Version 1.3 is the current version.

Emergency service care episodes chart

Urgency Disposition Groups — specifications

Development of the Urgency Disposition Groups classification

The UDG and Urgency Related Groups (URG) classification systems were first developed in 1992 by Dr George Jelinek. The development of UDGs and URGs were based on studies of patients treated in emergency departments from Western Australian hospitals. The initial UDGs classified patients into 12 groups based on two variables: the episode end status (admitted or discharged) and level of urgency (triage category one to five). 

In 2012, the UDGs classification was implemented in conjunction with the URGs classification by IHACPA as interim systems to classify emergency care episodes when activity based funding commenced nationally. 

In 2013, IHACPA commissioned the Investigative review of classification systems for emergency care to assess the suitability of the classifications’ ongoing use. The Investigative review concluded that both the URGs and UDGs are not suitable for use on an ongoing basis mainly due the reliance on triage as a classification variable. 

The outcome of the investigative review led to the staged development of the Australian Emergency Care Classification (AECC) which replaced the URG classification in 2021. IHACPA is working with stakeholders to transition the AECC to classify emergency service episodes for the future.


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