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

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Introduction

The Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2011–12 report presents information about the time patients spent in the ED, displayed in multiple formats to facilitate understanding of the comparable performance of public hospitals across Australia:

  1. The percentage of patients who departed ED within four hours of arrival (NEAT)
  2. The length of time until most (90%) patients who were subsequently admitted to hospital took to depart ED.

Percentage of all patients departing ED within four hours of arrival (NEAT)

The percentage of patients departing ED within four hours of arrival is reported for all 134 Australian hospitals listed in Appendix 1. The methods for calculation of NEAT can be found in Box 1 on the Data source page of this supplement.

These results are reported across Australia using a hospital peer classification system refined by the Authority for the purposes of reporting the NEAT indicator in a comparable fashion (see Fair comparisons of hospitals and their EDs for more information).

Percentage of admitted patients departing ED within four hours of arrival

These data are calculated in an identical manner to the NEAT indicator with the exception that only patients with the following episode end status are included in the numerator and the denominator:

Value Description
1 Admitted to this hospital

Percentage of discharged patients departing ED within four hours of arrival

These data are calculated in an identical manner to the NEAT indicator with the exception that only patients with the following episode end status are included in the numerator and the denominator:

Value Description
2 Non-admitted patient emergency department service episode completed—departed without being admitted or referred to another hospital
3 Non-admitted patient emergency department service episode completed—referred to another hospital for admission
4 Did not wait to be attended by a health care professional
5 Left at own risk after being attended by a health care professional but before the non-admitted patient emergency department service episode was completed
6 Died in emergency department as a non-admitted patient
7 Dead on arrival, emergency department clinician certified the death of the patient

Time until most admitted patients (90%) departed

The time until most admitted patients departed ED is measured at the 90th percentile. It provides a measure of the distribution of time spent in ED for those patients subsequently admitted from ED to the same hospital. The 10% of patients who stayed longest in ED took equal to or longer than this time to depart ED.

The methods for calculation of this indicator can be found in Box 2 on the Data source page of this supplement.

Peer Performance

Peer performance is reported for each peer group for both measures discussed above. Peer performance figures are presentations-weighted averages calculated using presentations-level data for all hospitals in a peer group.