Broken Hill Hospital continues to perform well with favourable waiting times for treatment and elective surgery, in the latest emergency department and surgery performance data released by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI).
The BHI Report for the January to March 2016 quarter summarises public hospitals’ performance across the State against NSW Ministry of Health benchmarks and targets.
For the March quarter the Broken Hill Health Service Emergency Department activity was similar to previous years but there were further improvements in the treatment times for patients. Overall 90% of patients left the Emergency Department within 4 hours – the State benchmark is 81%. The median time for the commencement of treatment for patients in the Emergency Department also improved compared to the same period last year in all triage categories.
The BHI report also shows that 4,980 people arrived at the Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) during the quarter, compared to 5,114 for same period last year, representing a slight decrease.
Mr Ken Barnett, General Manager Broken Hill Health Service, said these results were a reflection of the commitment by hospital staff to ensure our patients received appropriate care within the agreed time frames.
“Some changes implemented in the Emergency Department by our staff over the last six months have led to some sustained improvements in our performance and I thank all the staff involved. This has been a great team effort.”
Mr Barnett also acknowledged the continuing high performance of the hospital’s Operating Theatre staff in ensuring that patients were having their elective 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) and non-urgent (365 days) categories and 96% in the semi-urgent (90 days) category.
“Our operating theatre staff continue to provide a high quality service to the local community and ensure our patients have their surgery within the required benchmarks and they are to be commended for their efforts.”
A total of 274 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 13 days and semi urgent 49 days. The non-urgent category was 161 days compared to 272 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.