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

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Summary

This technical supplement summarises methods used to calculate descriptive statistics and performance indicators presented in Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2011–12. Due to the complexity of the methods used, this supplement is targeted at individuals with technical expertise in the creation of health information.

Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2011–12 publishes statistics relevant to the four-hour National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) for Australian public hospitals. For each emergency department (ED), the Authority has published the following statistics:

  • Percentage of all patients departing ED within four hours of arrival
  • Time until most admitted patients (90%) departed ED.

This work required an assessment and refinement of public hospital peer groups to support fair comparisons between hospital EDs for the purpose of reporting NEAT.

The National Health Performance Authority (the Authority) identified five peer groups to support comparisons between hospital EDs, as well as an extra group of specialist hospitals not similar enough to other hospitals or to one another to allow comparisons.

An important finding of this work is that the type of peer group hospital in which an ED is located is highly associated with, or predictive of, the length of time in ED as measured using the four-hour NEAT. This finding suggests that the four-hour NEAT indicator is highly associated with whole-of-hospital flow of patients.

See Fair comparisons of hospitals and their EDs for the methods the Authority used to identify peer public hospitals and Appendix 1 for a list of hospitals in each peer group.

This supplement presents the following results for each of the five distinct peer groups:

  • Percentage of all patients departing ED within four hours of arrival with disaggregation for:
    • admitted patients
    • discharged patients
  • Time until most admitted patients (90%) departed ED.
  • Peer performance (presentations-weighted averages).

For each of these results, the public hospitals in the highest and lowest performing decile (10%) in each peer group have been highlighted (see Appendix 2).

Please note: This Technical Supplement relates only to the reports Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2011–12 (published December 2012) and Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2012 and 2013, Update (published May 2014).

The most up-to-date results for each hospital are available on the hospital results pages and the most-up-to-date methods are summarised in the About the data pages.