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Improving service levels in hospitals

Published 10th September, 2018

81 per cent of patients through emergency departments within four hours by 2019.

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

Timely access to care in emergency departments can lead to improved health outcomes for patients, as well as reduce or avoid hospital stays.

Every year, the number of people using emergency departments increases - more than one in five adults and one in four children present at hospital at least once a year.

Despite the growing number of people accessing emergency departments, our hospitals strive for top patient care within reasonable and clinically safe timeframes.

A white emergency cross on a red background

By focusing on emergency department performance, we will improve both health outcomes and the experience of millions of people who visit NSW emergency departments every year.

How are we tracking?

Of the 2.88 million patients presenting to NSW's emergency departments in 2017-18, over 2.1 million moved through in four hours – 36,000 more than last year and almost 105,000 more over the life of the priority.

Over the same period, an additional 224,000 patients have presented to emergency departments across NSW.

What are we doing?

Investing in health services

Between 2015 and 2019, we will meet additional statewide demand with:

  • $22.9 billion health budget in 2018-19 – including additional funding for acute hospital services, providing for 40,000 more emergency department attendances in addition to the 2.9 million currently provided for
  • $7.7 billion over four years invested in health infrastructure, including building new health facilities and upgrading existing facilities to ensure they are welcoming, accessible, cater for future growth, and are fit-for-purpose for both staff and patients
  • $60 million for integrated healthcare via local health districts
  • $32 million in community-based palliative care services, which gives patients the option to continue home-based care
  • $16 million for successful preventative health programs including the Get Healthy Service, Get [email protected] and Go4Fun, to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Better access to healthcare services

The Whole of Health Program is a patient-centered approach to improve access to healthcare and patient-flow within our public hospitals.

Integrated healthcare

We are delivering healthcare in the hospital, community and at home.

With an ageing population and a growing number of people living with chronic or complex health conditions, demands on the health system are increasing. 

Integrated care delivers routine, seamless treatment to make sure a person’s health needs, from prevention through to end-of-life, are being met with coordinated care from both within and outside of hospital.

Case Study

Project Red – Western Sydney Local Health District

Project RED is a hospital-wide initiative developed by Western Sydney Local Health District to improve the quality and timeliness of patient care. Hospital departments (from emergency to cleaning) have come together to reduce emergency department waiting times, improve transfer times and access to imaging, and improve discharge processes.

Find out how Project Red was rolled out in Blacktown Hospital, resulting in improved patient care for people living in and visiting Western Sydney.

What can you do?

Staying healthy

Choose the right care

As our emergency departments must treat serious cases first, you can avoid a lengthy wait by using other services first.

  • Healthdirect is a free health information and advice service online and over the telephone, on 1800 022 222 anytime (24 hours 7 days a week).
  • The online symptom checker guides you toward the best health service for your needs.
  • Regular contact with a GP helps find health problems before they become an emergency.
  • Check your wait time at your local hospital online

Is your urgency an emergency?

NSW Ambulance’s campaign Is your urgency an emergency? is about changing expectations. Just as every patient who presents to an emergency department is not admitted to hospital, not every patient who calls Triple Zero (000) needs a stretcher, an ambulance or a paramedic.

Published 10th September, 2018
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