National Booking Reporting System

The National Booking Reporting System (NBRS) contains information by health specialty and booking status on how many patients are waiting for elective surgery, and how long they have had to wait before receiving it.

The system also consolidates information from the summary outpatient statistics, and cost-weighted discharge information from the National Minimum Dataset.

NBRS is mostly used by DHBs and the Ministry of Health to monitor waiting time for elective services.



The National Booking Reporting System (NBRS) provides information by health speciality and booking status on how many patients are waiting for treatment, and also how long they have had to wait before receiving treatment.


The NBRS contains details of all booking status events involving a healthcare user who:

  • receives a priority for an elective medical or surgical service, and
  • is likely to receive publicly funded treatment.

Information is collected about the patient’s date of entry into the system, their assessed priority, and their booking status.

Start date

Hospitals have been required to report data since 1 August 2000.

Guide for use

Booking status information can be linked by unique event identifier (booking entry ID) to the actual procedure when it is undertaken. Using this identifier, records in the NBRS may be linked to the NMDS, which contains data about inpatient and day patient events. For further details refer to the National Booking Reporting System Data Dictionary.

Collection methods – guide for providers

Data is provided by public hospitals in New Zealand.

Frequency of updates


Security of data

The NBRS database is only accessed by authorised National Collections and Reporting staff for maintenance, data quality, analytical and audit purposes.

Authorised members of the Ministry of Health’s Elective Services Team have access to the data for analytical purposes via the Business Objects reporting tool and the secure Health Information Network. Business Objects contains a subset of the data described in the Data Dictionary.

Please note, Business Objects is currently being decommissioned.

Privacy issues

The Ministry of Health is required to ensure that the release of information recognises any legislation related to the privacy of health information, in particular the Official Information Act 1982, the Privacy Act 2020 and the Health Information Privacy Code 2020.

Information available to the general public is of a statistical and non-identifiable nature. Researchers requiring identifiable data will usually need approval from an Ethics Committee.

National reports and publications

Summary NBRS data is published in the Elective Services section as part of the Elective Services Patient Flow Indicators (ESPIs), and regular data quality reconciliation reports are available to district health boards.

Data provision

Customised datasets or summary reports are available on request, either electronically or on paper. Staff from the Analytical Services team can help to define the specifications for a request and are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the data.

The Analytical Services team also offers a peer review service to ensure that national collections data is reported appropriately when published by other organisations.

There may be charges associated with data extracts.

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