Australian hospitals are currently striving to improve performance to achieve progress against the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). For those of you not from the medical world the NEAT is a component of the National Partnership Agreement on improving public hospital services. The aim of the target is for hospitals to admit, refer or discharge 90% of all patients who enter an emergency department (ED) within 4 hours of arrival. This is to be achieved by the end of 2015, but the majority of hospitals still have a long way to go.
In May this year the National Health Performance Authority released a report on the time patients spent in ED at 112 of Australia’s major and large hospitals. The report transparently details each hospital’s performance against the 4 hour target in 2012 and 2013.
Top performers of 2013 include Mount Isa in QLD (89%), Albany and Kalgoorlie in WA (both 88%) and Manly in NSW (84%) who all remained relatively consistent with the previous year. But the most interesting part of the report is looking at which hospitals have made the biggest progress over the year. They may not necessarily be top performers yet, but they have implemented some considerable changes to achieve a significant improvement in progressing towards the 90% NEAT target. The top 10 are detailed in the table below:
The 10 most progressive hospitals against the NEAT – Tweet this
Princess Alexandra in Queensland has clearly made the most impacting changes to improve ED patient flow with a mammoth 19% rise in performance against the target, followed closely behind by a second Queenslander; the Royal Brisbane & Women’s hospital with a 17% rise. New South Wales also deserves a mention with 6 hospitals making the top 10.
Understanding how these hospitals have achieved such good progression is the interesting part, and over the last couple of weeks I have been lucky enough to uncover this when producing our upcoming Timely Access to Emergency Departments conference. We have the privilege of not only hosting top performers against the NEAT, but also 3 hospitals from the top 10 most progressive, who will all be discussing their case studies. This includes Andrew Staib, Deputy Director of Emergency at Princess Alexandra who will be discussing who they achieved their 19% NEAT improvement through examining the ED inpatient interface and developing better quality measures to transform performance.
I will be analysing this National Health Performance Authority report over a series of blogs, with the next one revealing how the states and territory’s compare against each other – get ready to see which state you would rather be in in a medical emergency!