WAITING times at Shoalhaven Hospital’s Emergency Department improved on last year in semi-urgent and non-urgent cases despite more patients presenting.
The number of patients who left the Emergency Department (ED) within the state target of four hours also improved on last year, up from 55 per cent to 61 per cent. However, that figure is still short of the 71 per cent target.
The figures come from the latest quarterly report from the Bureau of Health Information.
Overall, NSW hospitals improved their elective surgery waiting times and emergency department performance in the April-June 2013 quarter.
Hospital ED presentations are measured in categories. Triage 2 patients are classed as emergency, Triage 3 are urgent, Triage 4 semi-urgent and Triage 5 are classed as non-urgent.
From April to June this year 533 Triage 2 patients attended the Shoalhaven Hospital’s ED. Last year, 522 attended over the same period.
In this category half the patients had started treatment within 10 minutes, the same time frame as last year. The state average was eight minutes.
In the urgent category 2416 patients presented this quarter while last year in the same period the ED treated 2363 patients.
This year there were 53 more urgent patients, half of whom had started treatment within 30 minutes, compared to last year’s 27 minutes. The state average this year was 21 minutes.
In the semi-urgent category this year there were 3907 patients, up by 54 from last year’s 3853 patients. The treatment time this year was 38 minutes for half of the patients, the same as last year, despite an increase in presentations. The state average was 28 minutes.
The time that 95 per cent of patients received treatment was 207 minutes less than last year’s 221 minutes. The state average was 152 minutes.
In the non-urgent category 1141 patients presented up from last year’s 994 in the same period.
Despite having 147 more patients half of them were treated in 30 minutes, only two minutes longer than the same period last year. While 95 per cent of patients this year in the same category were treated in 169 minutes down from last year’s 198 minutes.
In emergency departments across NSW compared to the same time in 2012, 95 per cent of patients were seen more quickly in all triage categories.