Dubbo Hospital's Emergency Department steps up during flu season

STRONG PERFORMANCE: During the worst influenza season in NSW in recent years, Dubbo Hospital's Emergency Department staff treated 76.4 per cent of patients on time, compared with 70 per cent in NSW. Photo: File
STRONG PERFORMANCE: During the worst influenza season in NSW in recent years, Dubbo Hospital's Emergency Department staff treated 76.4 per cent of patients on time, compared with 70 per cent in NSW. Photo: File

Dubbo Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) rose to the challenge of one of the worst influenza seasons in NSW in recent years.

In the July to September 2017 quarter its staff treated 76.4 per cent of patients on time, compared with 70 per cent in NSW.

In the same quarter, 72.6 per cent of patients left Dubbo Hospital’s ED within four hours, compared with 68.4 in NSW.

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The Bureau of Health Information’s (BHI) latest quarterly report also shows Dubbo Hospital’s ED performing better in the July to September 2017 quarter than in the same period in 2016.

Staff got to patients faster in the 2017 quarter, despite 740 more presentations than in the 2016 quarter.  “All” ED presentations rose from 8286 in the 2016 quarter to 9026 in the 2017 quarter.

The BHI report reveals the percentage of patients starting treatment on time rose from 67.9 in the 2016 quarter to 76.4 per cent in the 2017 quarter.

A drop in the “median time to treat” patients across all triage categories occurred, particularly in semi-urgent and non-urgent.

In the semi-urgent category an average 35-minute wait in the July to September 2016 quarter fell to 22 minutes in the same quarter in 2017.  In the non-urgent category a 34-minute wait fell to 22 minutes.

The percentage of patients who left Dubbo Hospital’s ED within four hours of presentation increased from 69.8 in the 2016 quarter to 72.6 in the 2017 quarter.

The arrival of patients by ambulance at the ED jumped from 1960 in the 2016 quarter to 2056 in the 2017 quarter.