BHI report revels HNE Health contiues to improve

​The latest report from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows Hunter New England Health's Emergency Department and elective surgery performance continues to improve overall.

Despite HNE Health Emergency Departments experiencing the highest number of presentations (99,000 people) an average of 78 per cent of patients were treated, admitted, discharged or referred from HNE Health Emergency Departments within four hours.

"This is an excellent result, eight per cent above the NSW average," Hunter New England Health Director of Acute Networks Todd McEwan said.

One of the busiest Emergency Departments in the state at John Hunter Hospital has seen the most significant improvement.

"64 per cent of patients left John Hunter Hospital's Emergency Department within four hours in the quarter to December 2013, that's up from 51 per cent for the same period in 2012," Mr McEwan said.

"While the results are encouraging all staff members are focused on continuing to improve the hospital's performance.

"Improving our ED performance is a whole of hospital priority and the improvement so far is a reflection of how hard the emergency team, as well as impatient staff and services, has been working."

Mr McEwan said that all staff and services across the hospital are working together to move more patients through the emergency department to either inpatient beds, or home, within the four hours if it is clinically appropriate.

"We're also looking at a number of strategies with the Division of Medicine to further improve admissions procedures," he said.

"We've also introduced a team-based model of care which sees doctors and nurses work in teams under one leader to ensure a more coordinated and streamlined approach to patient care."

The BHI figures show that Armidale Hospital recorded the best result of the District's acute hospitals, with 90 per cent of patients leaving the ED within four hours, up from 88 per cent for the same period a year ago.

"It's a great result for Armidale Hospital, which has excellent staff including senior career medical officers in the Emergency Department who consult with specialists to admit or discharge patients in a timely manner," Mr McEwan said.

Belmont Hospital's performance also continues to improve. 72 per cent of patients left the ED within four hours for the quarter to December 2013 which is five percentage points higher than the same period in 2012.

Manning Hospital also performance well with 80 per cent of patients admitted or discharged from the ED within four hours.

Tamworth's reported BHI result was 69 per cent, also an improvement on the same period in 2012.

John Hunter Hospital's effort to improve patient transfer of care between ambulances and the Emergency Department has delivered encouraging results.

For the October to December quarter, the median transfer of care time was 10 minutes, an improvement of 2 minutes on the previous quarter and above the state average of 14 minutes.

The median transfer of care time across the District is also 10 minutes, well below the state average.

The BHI report showed that 99 per cent of urgent elective surgeries were performed on time across the District, which is equal to the state average.

"We continue to strive to ensure patients have ready access to care. We will continue to work closely with surgeons to ensure patients receive their surgery on time," Mr McEwan said.

"Our hospitals work as a network to allow patients to have their surgery sooner. This has both reduced waiting times and improved equity of access for our patients."

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