Western Sydney public hospitals have hit a performance high despite record demand, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI).
New figures from BHI show Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) hospitals performed strongly against treatment time targets in the face of big surges in presentations, particularly in emergency departments.
Across the WSLHD, the proportion of patients whose treatment started on time was up by 16.5 per cent to 66.8 per cent.
The percentage of patients who left the ED within four hours was up 12.3 percentage points to 71.2 per cent.
Blacktown Hospital recorded an Emergency Treatment Performance (ETP) of 69.3%, up from 53.7% in the same period last year.
It logged 13,073 ED presentations, a 9.35% lift from the same period in 2017.
ED performance surged at Blacktown Hospital after a redesign of how patients are managed after presenting.
As key part of this initiative, called Project RED, more roles were created to streamline triage in ED.
Other tactics such as allocating dedicated cleaning crews helped free up beds more quickly for new admissions.
“The roll out of Project RED delivered big improvements in ED performance at Blacktown and it is now being rolled out at Westmead Hospital,” WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor said.
“It is just one part of our new approach which focuses on moving patients more quickly from an emergency setting to the wards.
“Our staff are so committed that they managed to improve performance even when confronted with the big numbers in emergency departments.
“We recognise we still have work to do refining the way we deliver our healthcare but the improvement is outstanding.”
Mr O’Connor said while less urgent presentations to our emergency departments have gone down compared to last year some patients still come to hospital emergency departments for non-emergency reasons who could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing services such as their general practitioner or local pharmacy.
The speed at which patients were seen in ED at Mount Druitt Hospital improved significantly with an ETP of 80.2 per cent, well above the state average of 74.4%.
During this period, Mount Druitt recorded 8,465 presentations to its ED, a 6.3 per cent rise in presentations for same period in 2017.
Auburn Hospital recorded 6,749 ED attendances in the January to March 2018 quarter, an increase of 3.5% compared with the same period in 2017.
Despite the increased number of ED presentations at Auburn, its 2018 ETP of 82.7 per cent was up from 80.4 per cent in 2017.
The BHI data was released as the state’s hospitals bolster their resources to cope with an expected surge in demand for health services over winter.