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Improving service levels in hospitals

Published 14th October, 2016

81 per cent of patients through emergency departments within four hours

Why is this important?

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, NSW hospitals strive for top patient care within reasonable and clinically safe timeframes.

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In 2015-2016, nearly two million people were through emergency departments in less than four hours.

How is the government tracking?

Percentage of patients through emergency departments within four hours (3/17)

What is the government doing?

Investing in health services

Between 2015 and 2019, the NSW Government is meeting additional statewide demand with:

Whole of Health Program

The Whole of Health Program is a patient-centred approach to improve access to healthcare and patient flow within NSW public hospitals. It’s designed to co-ordinate what happens in hospitals with community-based primary care, such as GPs.

Integrated healthcare

The NSW Government is delivering health care 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 co-ordinated care from specialty health networks and local GPs.

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. It helps you understand symptoms and possible signs of illness, causes and complications.
  • Regular contact with a GP helps find health problems before they become an emergency.

Calling an ambulance

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 14th October, 2016