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Our hospitals given a health check

DURING October to December 2012 all eight of the Northern NSW and Mid North Coast hospitals analysed were under the 10-minute target with Casino and District Memorial Hospital taking only five minutes to start treatment on triage 2 category patients.

Tweed Hospital had 1269 patients enter triage 2 and the majority were seen to within a seven-minute period.

Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, which treated 820 triage 2 patients, had a median waiting time of eight minutes - again below the state average.

Mid North Coast Local Health District chief executive Stewart Dowrick and Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford said they were happy with the way the hospital emergency departments were performing.

An exception was Lismore Base Hospital, which was the only main hospital that had a negative change from the same period in 2011.

Mr Crawford said the jump in waiting times occurred for two reasons.

"Lismore saw an increase in the number of patients presenting," he said.

"They're up about 5%."

The second reason was the size of the current emergency room.

"Lismore has a relatively small and dysfunctional emergency room department," he said.

"There's nowhere really to see them (patients) or have them wait."

To combat the growing problem, an interim emergency room, with 40% more floor space, will be completed in the early months of 2014.

Mr Crawford said by the end of 2016 a joint state and Federal Government emergency department worth $80 million would be complete.

"We believe the interim EMU (emergency medical unit) will see the figures drop," he said.

Once the new building is completed, the chief executive said, the figures "would blow us away".

Tweed Hospital, which had 10,578 patients admitted to the emergency room between October to December 2012, recorded a significant decrease in patient waiting times.

Mr Crawford attributed this to a special chute which delivered blood samples to pathology without the need for an orderly to hand deliver, saving up to 30 minutes per patient.

Another contributing factor was the addition of medical registrars.

"Medical registrars are now located in ER and are working with the ER doctors," he said.

This dropped patient waiting times by quickly getting certain patients out of the ER.

Murwillumbah District Hospital was praised by Mr Crawford as being one of the best performing due to their team."It's a very good culture at Murwillumbah," he said.

"The team has great pride in what they do for their patients, there's such a positive vibe up there."

He said there was also less pressure as there were fewer patients, and critically ill patients were transported directly to the Tweed Hospital.

Maclean District Hospital gained a new nurse to help deal with their workload.

Mr Crawford said the small hospital saw more patients coming in the evening. "That's one of the reasons why we've put one on," he said.

Mr Dowrick said Coffs Harbour Base Hospital had been able to reach targets due to the addition of a 10-bed medical unit.

"It actually helped with the flow of patients through the ER and into the rest of the hospital," he said.

"It took a lot of strain off of nursing staff in the emergency department which also freed up critical resources."

A whole-team approach was also beneficial in the Mid North Coast Hospitals.

"The staff have done a great job and work well together to reach the set targets," Mr Dowrick said.

Triage 2 median time to start treatment

October 2012 - December 2012 Triage 2- Emergency - median time to start treatment (target is 80% patients treated in 10 minutes)

  • Tweed Hospital, 1269 patients, 7 minutes
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, 820 patients, 8 minutes
  • Lismore Base Hospital, 728 patients, 7 minutes
  • Grafton Base Hospital, 590 patients, 7 minutes
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital, patients 192, 5 minutes
  • Ballina District Hospital, 283 patients, 7 minutes
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital, 215 patients, 5 minutes
  • Maclean District Hospital, 291 patients, 9 minutes

The median time is the time by which half of patients started treatment. The other half of patients took equal to or longer than this time.*

Source: Bureau of Health Information

 

Triage 3 median time to start treatment

October 2012 - December 2012 Triage 3 Urgent - median time to start treatment (target is 75% treated in 30 minutes)

  • Tweed Hospital, 4488 patients, 21 minutes
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, 3469 patients, 20 minutes
  • Lismore Base Hospital, 2242 patients, 26 minutes
  • Grafton Base Hospital, 1978 patients, 17 minutes
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital, 1089 patients, 13 minutes
  • Ballina District Hospital, 953 patients, 19 minutes
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital, 877 patients, 27 minutes
  • Maclean District Hospital, 795 patients, 21 minutes

The median time is the time by which half of patient started treatment. The other half of patients took equal to or longer than this time.*

Source: Bureau of Health Information

 

Triage 4 median time to start treatment

October 2012 - December 2012 Triage 4 Semi Urgent - median time to start treatment (target 70% of patients treated in 60 minutes)

  • Tweed Hospital, 3414 patients, 22 minutes
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, 2947 patients, 29 minutes
  • Lismore Base Hospital, 3011 patients, 54 minutes
  • Grafton Base Hospital, 1864 patients, 21 minutes
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital, 1911 patients, 19 minutes
  • Ballina District Hospital, 1847 patients, 32 minutes
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital, 1530 patients, 41 minutes
  • Maclean District Hospital, 1111 patients, 34 minutes

The median time is the time by which half of patient's tarted treatment. The other half of patients took equal to or longer than this time.*

Source: Bureau of Health Information

 

Triage 5 median time to start treatment

October 2012 - December 2012 Triage 5 Non- urgent- median time to start treatment (target 70% patients treated in 120 minutes)

  • Tweed Hospital, 972 patients, 21 minutes
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, 857 patients, 31 minutes
  • Lismore Base Hospital, 711 patients, 60 minutes
  • Grafton Base Hospital, 541 patients, 21 minutes
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital, 547 patients, 21 minutes
  • Ballina District Hospital, 250 patients, 23 minutes
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital, 428 patients, 30 minutes
  • Maclean District Hospital, 293 patients, 31 minutes

The median time is the time by which half of patient's tarted treatment. The other half of patients took equal to or longer than this time.*

Source: Bureau of Health Information

 

Emergency Attendances Oct- Dec 2012

  • Tweed Hospital - 10,578 patients
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital - 8647 patients
  • Lismore Base Hospital - 7488 patients
  • Grafton Base Hospital - 5360 patients
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital - 3872 patients
  • Ballina District Hospital - 3799 patients
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital - 3385 patients
  • Maclean District Hospital - 2773 patients

Source: Bureau of Health Information

 

Emergency by Numbers

Number of patients attending emergency from Oct- Dec 2012

  • Tweed Hospital - 10,578
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital - 8647
  • Lismore Base Hospital - 7488
  • Grafton Base Hospital - 5360
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital - 3872
  • Ballina District Hospital - 3799
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital - 3385
  • Maclean District Hospital - 2773

 

Waiting times

Median times before starting treatment. Triage 2 (T2) are patients classed as emergency (target is 80% treated in 10 minutes); Triage 3 (T3) are classed as urgent (target is 75% treated in 30 minutes); Triage 4 (T4) are classed as semi urgent (target 70% treated in 60 minutes); Triage 5 (T5) are non-urgent (target 70% treated in 120 minutes).

  • Tweed Hospital: T2 1269 patients, 7 minutes; T3 4488 patients, 21 minutes; T4 3414 patients, 22 minutes; T5 972 patients, 21 minutes.
  • Coffs Harbour Base Hospital: T2 820 patients, 8 minutes; T3 3469 patients, 20 minutes; T4 2947 patients, 29 minutes; T5 857 patients, 31 minutes.
  • Lismore Base Hospital: T2 728 patients, 7 minutes; T3 2242 patients, 26 minutes; T4 3011 patients, 54 minutes; T5 711 patients, 60 minutes.
  • Grafton Base Hospital: T2 590 patients, 7 minutes; T3 1978 patients, 17 minutes; T4 1864 patients, 21 minutes; T5 541 patients, 21 minutes.
  • Murwillumbah District Hospital: T2 patients 192, 5 minutes; T3 1089 patients, 13 minutes; T4 1911 patients, 19 minutes; T5 547 patients, 21 minutes.
  • Ballina District Hospital: T2 283 patients, 7 minutes; T3 953 patients, 19 minutes; T4 1847 patients, 32 minutes; T5 250 patients, 23 minutes.
  • Casino and District Memorial Hospital: T2 215 patients, 5 minutes; T3 877 patients, 27 minutes; T4 1530 patients, 41 minutes; T5 428 patients, 30 minutes.
  • Maclean District Hospital: T2 291 patients, 9 minutes; T3 795 patients, 21 minutes; T4 1111 patients, 34 minutes; T5 293 patients, 31 minutes.

Source: Bureau of Health Information. All figures based on October-December 2012. The median time is the time by which half of patient's started treatment. The other half of patients took equal to, or longer than, this time.*

Topics:  coffs harbour base hospital hospitals lismore base hospital northern nsw tweed hospital


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