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Hospital ‘above average’

Thursday, 22nd May, 2014

The latest Australian Hospital Statistics show a continuing decline in public hospital capacity, but the Broken Hill Hospital is seeing positive results.

The Australian Hospital Statistics 2012-13 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals less capacity, particularly for patients over 65 who have more hospital treatment than young people.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said that hospitals around the country are under enormous pressure to meet growing demand from an ageing population and greater numbers of people of all ages with complex and chronic conditions that require hospital care.

But a Far West Local Health District spokesman said the Broken Hill Hospital has achieved favourable results in the quarterly report (October to December 2013).

The hospital’s Emergency Department treated 84 per cent of patients within the four-hour national target (also known as National Emergency Access Target or NEAT),” he said.

“This compared favourably to the NSW figures.”

Waiting times for elective surgery in Broken Hill also fell in the non-urgent and urgent categories and remained constant in the semi-urgent category. This was better than the national benchmark.

“Bed numbers in the Broken Hill Hospital have not reduced and recently were increased with the opening of the new 10-bed Sub-acute Rehabilitation Unit and before that the 10-bed Mental Health Recovery Centre,” the spokesman said.

The hospital aims to improve patients’ access to high quality, safe and affordable health care, he said.

“One program established to assist this is the Whole of Hospital Program (WoHP) to improve the flow of patients through the hospital, avoiding delays caused by poor communication between clinical teams and services in the community. 

“The Sub-acute Rehabilitation Unit also reduces pressure on acute medical and surgical beds.”

The hospital also maintained the low Staphylococcus Aureus Bloodstream Infection rate, reporting one case per 21,740 days of patient care under surveillance, which was also good compared to the national benchmark. 

“This result is thanks to the hospital maintaining a vigilant focus on key infection prevention and control strategies, including hand hygiene,” the spokesman said.

“Even though the Broken Hill Hospital continues to perform very well, the District’s aim is to continue to find ways to improve the community’s access to high quality services.”

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