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Service in good shape

Friday, 16th March, 2012

The Bureau of Health Information yesterday released the quarterly report on the performance of hospitals across NSW The Bureau of Health Information yesterday released the quarterly report on the performance of hospitals across NSW

By Erica Visser

The service provided by the Broken Hill Base Hospital patients is more efficient than the State average, a new report has shown.

The Bureau of Health Information yesterday released the quarterly report on the performance of hospitals across NSW.

It compares times patients had to wait for different categories for both emergency department care and elective surgery.

The report measured times from October to December last year.

For serious life-threatening conditions, the BH hospital saw over half of patients within six minutes, while the State average was eight minutes.
Similarly, those with moderately threatening illnesses, such as bloodloss or dehydration, were seen within 15 minutes compared to the average of 23 minutes.

Drastic discrepencies are seen between the local and the State average when it comes to serious and less urgent incidents.

Patients in a potentially serious condition were treated six times more quickly than the NSW average of 119 minutes. 

For less urgent cases, it was, four times quicker. The time in which admitted emergency department patients left the ward was also more than an hour less than NSW average at just over five hours.

The report said a total of 5,388 patients were admitted to the Emergency Department during the quarter, compared to 6,145 within the same period last year.

In regards to elective surgery, 98 per cent of urgent elective surgery patients received their treatment within the recommended time of 30 days. For semi-urgent it was 91 per cent.

All non-urgent elective surgery patients received their surgery within the recommended time of 90 days and 365 days respectively in BH.

The median waiting time for each elective surgery category fell compared to same period last year and was 13 days, 58 days and 174 days respectively. 

A total of 301 elective surgery procedures were conducted during the quarter.

Acting Chief Executive of the Bureau of Health Information, Kim Browne, said that the results were great news for Broken Hill.

"Certainly compared with hospitals across the state the times are better," Ms Browne said.

"We really encourage people to look at those details and certainly to see what happens over time. 

"What we normally try to do is compare from a year ago, because there can be seasonal changes."

Far West Local Health District Chief Executive, Stuart Riley, said it was pleasing to see that Broken Hill was performing so well in comparison to other NSW hospitals.

"We compare our performance with other health services and use the performance data to see how well we are meeting benchmarks.

"Reliability of air services and visiting specialists were key requirements for waiting times are to be maintained." 

Mr Riley said a pivotal factor was the hospital staff who work to see to patients in a timely manner.

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