There were large variations in the proportion of patients seen within the four-hour target in 2011–12 (see Table 2).
The report grouped public hospitals according to size (major, large and medium) and found big differences both between those peer groups, and between individual hospitals within the peer groups.
In terms of variation in performance between hospital peer groups:
- Major hospitals recorded the lowest percentage of patients who departed ED within four hours: 54% in major metropolitan hospitals, and 63% in major regional hospitals.
- Large hospitals (which are smaller than major hospitals) performed closer to the 2015 target: 67% in large metropolitan hospitals and 78% in large regional hospitals.
In terms of variation in performance between individual hospitals within the peer groups:
- Among all major hospitals, the percentage of patients departing ED within four hours ranged from 79% to 33%.
- Among large hospitals, the range was from 92% to 48%.
- Among medium hospitals, the range was from 93% to 41%.
Location of hospitals, as well as size, also influenced the percentage of patients seen within the target (see Table 2).
- Metropolitan hospitals (both major and large) recorded lower percentages of all patients departing ED within four hours when compared with regional hospitals.
- Among major metropolitan hospitals, the percentage of patients departing ED within four hours ranged from 74% to 33%, and among major regional hospitals from 79% to 47%.
- Among large metropolitan hospitals, the percentage of patients departing ED within four hours ranged from 83% to 48%, and among large regional hospitals, from 92% to 61%.
A number of hospitals are already achieving the state targets, on the path to the introduction of the 2015 target (see Figure 1).
The percentage of patients who leave ED within the four-hour target is much lower among those patients who are subsequently admitted to the same hospital, compared with patients who depart ED without being admitted see (Figure 2 and Figure 3).
- Among major metropolitan hospitals, 26% of admitted patients left ED within four hours, compared with 70% of patients who were not admitted.
- The challenges of having admitted patients depart ED within four hours was felt across all the hospital peer groups studied. Peer performance ranged from 38% of admitted patients departing ED within four hours in large regional hospitals, to 24% in major regional hospitals.
The length of time within which 90% of admitted patients departed ED was shortest for medium hospitals and longest for large regional hospitals. The length of time ranged nationally from 5 hours and 28 minutes to 27 hours and 59 minutes. There is no national target for this measure (see Table 3 and Figures 4 to 16 on the state and territory overview pages).
How well does your hospital perform?
The National Health Performance Authority has released new 2011–12 data on the MyHospitals website for over 400 hospitals, covering:
- Waiting times for elective surgery
- Waiting times for treatment in ED
- Time spent in ED from arrival to departure
- Presentations to ED
- Hand hygiene rates
To find more information about your local hospital go to www.myhospitals.gov.au