Far West LHD continues to perform well in latest BHI Report

Broken Hill Hospital continues to perform well in the latest data released by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) with favourable Emergency Department waiting times and elective surgery patients having their procedure within the clinically recommended timeframe.

The BHI Report for the October to December 2015 quarter summarises public hospitals’ performance across the State against NSW Ministry of Health benchmarks and targets.

The Broken Hill Health Service General Manager, Mr Ken Barnett, congratulated all staff for their efforts in helping the hospital to meet the key indicators in the BHI quarterly report.

Mr Barnett thanked the Emergency Department staff for exceeding the benchmark set for patients waiting less than 4 hours for their treatment, with 91% of patients receiving treatment and leaving the Emergency Department in less than 4 hours. For the same period last year the result was 84%.

Mr Barnett also praised Operating Theatre staff on their performance in ensuring patients were having their surgery within the clinically appropriate times.

The BHI reported that all patients (100%) received their elective surgery in Broken Hill Hospital within the clinically recommended timeframe in the urgent (30 days) category and 93% and 95% in the semi-urgent (90 days) and non-urgent (365 days) categories respectively.

A total of 293 elective surgical procedures were conducted at Broken Hill Hospital during the quarter. The median waiting time for elective surgery categories was comparable to peer hospitals with the waiting time for the urgent category being 15 days and semi urgent 47 days. The non-urgent category was 272 days compared to 259 days for peer hospitals. The District also performed well regarding waiting times for the majority of specialty and common elective surgery categories when compared to peer group hospitals in the same period.

The Elective Surgery Categories are set by the Ministry of Health and are based on standard surgical response timeframes for specific diagnoses. There is flexibility in the system, wherein a patient’s categories for surgery can be changed if there is a sound clinical reason to do so. This requires consultation between the hospital, the patient and their surgeon, and may see them moved up the waiting list.

The BHI report also shows that 4,885 people arrived at the Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) during the quarter, compared to 5,190 for same period last year, representing a 6% decrease.

The ED recorded 91% of patients leaving the ED within four hours of their arrival. The median time between patients arriving and leaving the ED was one hour and 8 minutes. 95% of patients left the ED within five hours and 13 minutes and over an hour quicker compared to same period last year. This result also compared favourably to the average for all NSW Hospitals which was 9 hours and 32 minutes.

Mr Barnett said the BH Health Service continually reviews how it delivers services and the Emergency Department was no exception. Late last year a new triage system was trialed to speed up the time the sickest patients are seen for treatment. This was coupled with a rearranging of the waiting room including more chairs in the department’s bed bays for patients who didn’t need a bed.

“We are continuing to work hard to improve patient flow through the ED,” he said.

“We have dedicated and committed staff throughout the Broken Hill Health Service and they work hard to provide high quality and timely care.”

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