In an emergency, Maclean Hospital's efficiency counts

IF YOU want to get in and out of the emergency department as quickly as possible, Maclean District Hospital could be your best bet.

Our down-river hospital scored well above the state average when it came to patient numbers seen and discharged from the ED within four hours.

The Bureau of Health Information's quarterly report revealed 80% of patients that went through the Maclean District Hospital ED were out within four hours, far greater than the national average of 65%.

Chief executive of Northern NSW Local Health District Chris Crawford welcomed the latest data and said Maclean staff should be proud of their results.

"The staff are to be congratulated on having consistently met the National Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) across the five triage timeframe indi- cators," Mr Crawford said.

Grafton Base Hospital fell short of the state average at 63%.

Mr Crawford said despite scoring lower than average and falling short of the state target of 71%, Grafton Base Hospital was still performing well.

"GBH performs quite well in comparison to other C1 benchmark hospitals," he said.

"In late 2012 GBH undertook a clinical redesign project, which focused on streamlining the patient journey through the ED. "In 2013, further redesign efforts have focused on improving other clinical processes for those patients admitted to a ward bed."

The redesign means there are three ED teams of doctors and nurses - one team is devoted to the lower acuity patient group with the other two focusing on the more urgent cases.

"This has been a great success so far, with a much-less-crowded waiting room, an improvement in the triage timeframes overall, a dramatic reduction in the Did Not Wait (DNW) percentage of patients and an improvement in staff morale and patient satisfaction," Mr Crawford said.

"For the same quarter last year, the DNW% was 6.5%.

"For this latest reporting period the DNW% is down to 3.4%, which is a dramatic reduction.

"For the last two months (July-August) it is down to 3.3%."

AROUND THE REGION
Percentage of patients to be in and out of the ED within 4 hours:
Casino: 91%
Maclean: 80%
Ballina: 75%
Grafton: 63%
Lismore: 54%



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