BHI report reveals Tamworth Hospital continues to improve

The latest report from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) shows Tamworth Hospital's emergency department and elective surgery performance continues to improve.

76.6 per cent of patients were treated, admitted, discharged or referred from Tamworth Hospital's emergency department within four hours of arrival in the July to September 2016 quarter, up from 12.3 percentage points from the same period last year.

Hunter New England Health Executive Director of Rural and Regional Health Services, Susan Heyman said these results were achieved despite Tamworth Hospital being one of the busiest rural referral hospitals in the state.

"This is a significant and encouraging improvement for one of the State's busiest emergency departments which saw more than 10,000 presentations for the July to September quarter," Ms Heyman said.

The median time in which patients left Tamworth Hospital's emergency department was two hours and 26 minutes, a 35 minute improvement on the same quarter last year. This means most patients are being seen by their doctor and either discharged or admitted to a bed less than four hours from arrival.

Tamworth Hospital's effort to improve patient transfer of care between ambulances and the emergency department has also delivered encouraging results.

For the July to September quarter, the median transfer of care time was nine minutes, an improvement of nine minutes on the same period last year and above the state average of twelve minutes.

Tamworth Hospital also achieved improved results in the average triage to treatment times and the percentage of patients starting their treatment on time across all triage categories. Overall, Tamworth Hospital improved the number of patients starting treatment on time by 14.8 percentage points.

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

"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."

"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."

The BHI report showed that 100 per cent of urgent elective surgeries were performed on time, an improvement of 1.5 percentage points from the same period last year. This is despite a four per cent increase on the number of surgeries performed in the July to September quarter, compared to the same period last year.

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

"These consistent results could not be achieved without the hard work of our dedicated staff. Staff members across the hospital should feel proud of their performance and the importance that they place on each patients' safety and care."

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