BHI report revels John Hunter Hospital continues to improve

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

Sixty four per cent of patients were treated, admitted, discharged or referred from John Hunter Hospital's Emergency Department within four hours of arrival in the January to March quarter, up from 48 per cent for the same period last year.

Hunter New England Health Director of Acute Networks Todd McEwan said these results were achieved despite a five per cent increase in the number of presentations from the same period last year.

"This is a significant and encouraging improvement for one of the State's busiest Emergency Departments which saw more than 18,000 presentations for the January to March quarter," Mr McEwan said.

"The average time in which patients left John Hunter's Emergency Department was 3 hours and 32 minutes. This means most patients are being seen by their doctor and either discharged or admitted to a bed less than four hours from arrival.

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

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

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."

Performance is also improving at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, where 70 per cent of patients left the Emergency Department within four hours according to the latest BHI results. This was a 4 per cent improvement from the same period in 2013.

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

For the January to March quarter, the median transfer of care time was 11 minutes, an improvement on the previous quarter and above the state average.

The BHI report showed that 99 per cent of urgent elective surgeries were performed on time, an improvement of one per cent from the same period last year.

The number of semi-urgent and non-urgent surgeries received on time at John Hunter Hospital has also increased significantly since the same quarter last year.

"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.

"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," Mr McEwan said

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