Search control section

Hospital Performance: Time patients spent in emergency departments in 2012 and 2013, Update

Left hand navigation section


This report presents the percentage of patients leaving emergency departments within four hours of arrival across 112 public hospitals.

In 2013, there were almost 7 million patient presentations to emergency departments (EDs) around Australia. At major metropolitan hospitals, which accounted for 44% of patient presentations across all hospitals in 2013, average performance for this peer group (peer performance) has increased steadily. In October–December 2011, 53% of patients who presented at these hospital EDs departed within four hours; this increased to 66% in October–December 2013 (Figure 1).

Improvements are particularly evident among the lowest-performing major metropolitan hospitals. Among these hospitals, 35% of patients departed ED within four hours in October–December 2011, which increased to 51% in October–December 2013. The highest-performing hospitals have also improved since 2011. At major regional hospitals, which accounted for 16% of patient presentations in 2013, peer performance has been relatively consistent in recent years.

In the most recent reporting quarter (October–December 2013), peer performance was similar at major metropolitan (66%) and major regional hospitals (70%). There was also marked variation in the percentage of patients departing ED at hospital level within each of these peer groups (Figure 3 and Figure 4).

Figure 1: Performance trends for major metropolitan hospitals, Oct–Dec 2011 to Oct–Dec 2013

Group Oct–Dec 2011 Oct–Dec 2012 Oct–Dec 2013
Highest 10% of hospitals 70 76 83
Peer performance 53 58 66
Lowest 10% of hospitals 35 47 51

Report Highlights

  • The latest available information on the time patients spent in ED at 112 of Australia’s major and large hospitals
  • Quarterly data are presented at hospital level for 52 major metropolitan and 27 major regional hospitals across five quarters (Figure 3 and Figure 4)
  • Data include the addition of three new quarters: April–June 2013, July–September 2013, and October–December 2013
  • Annual data are presented at hospital level for 79 major and 33 large hospitals by state and territory in 2012 and 2013 (Table 2 to Table 9).
Download Report (PDF, 906.4 KB)