17 Oct 2022

Coding error led to undercount of hospitalised Covid-19 cases

4:32 pm on 17 October 2022
Medical equipment

The coding error largely affected people who were hospitalised for between one and three days and who recovered after they were discharged. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The number of people recorded as hospitalised with Covid-19 throughout the pandemic has risen from 14,043 to 19,476 after a review found a coding error led to an undercount.

The number has increased by more than 5000 after it was found a coding error meant some hospitalisations were not recorded.

The error was identified during a review of the hospitalisation data. The data source had been used for the past three and half months, the ministry said.

"The issue did not affect the hospitalisation numbers released in the ministry's daily, and now weekly, updates, which counted the number of beds occupied with patients with Covid-19," the ministry said.

"The issue largely affected data about people hospitalised for Covid-19 who had relatively short stays of between one and three days, and who recovered after they were discharged. It had no impact on the care received by patients in our hospitals."

The issue has been resolved and hospital admission figures are now up to date.

The Ministry of Health today reported 14,311 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand in the past week.

This is over 3000 more than what was reported in the previous week. The seven-day rolling average of community cases has increased to 2041.

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