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Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2011–12

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First report shows large variation in hospital performance

This report is based on data from 122 hospitals and finds that hospital size and location, and whether patients are admitted or discharged, influences the percentage of patients who leave the emergency department within the four-hour timeframe. Major hospitals were found to have the lowest percentages of patients departing emergency departments within four hours.

  • Major hospitals, which account for 4 million visits annually, recorded the lowest percentages of patients departing EDs within four hours (major metropolitan hospitals 54%, and major regional hospitals 63%).
  • Hospitals in metropolitan areas recorded lower percentages of all patients leaving EDs within four hours than regional hospitals of similar size (major metropolitan hospitals 54%, and major regional 63%; and large metropolitan hospitals 67%, compared to large regional 78%).
  • Admitted patients took the longest to leave EDs compared to discharged patients, and this trend was felt across all peer groups. In the major metropolitan and regional hospital peer groups, the percentage of subsequently admitted patients who left ED within four hours was 26% and 24%, respectively, compared to 70% and 78% respectively in the case of discharged patients at the same hospital peer groups.

Data revision

Note: Since publication in December 2012, some figures have been revised following updates to methods and revised information from states and territories. The most up-to-date results for each hospital are available on the hospital results pages.

Download Report (PDF, 3.7 MB)