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Media release

Continued improvements in NSW hospital performance

The latest issue of Hospital Quarterly by the Bureau of Health Information shows NSW hospitals continue to show clear improvements in important areas of hospital performance such as waiting times for elective surgery, overall time spent in hospital and waiting times to be seen in an Emergency Department (ED).

The October-December 2013 issue of Hospital Quarterly provides NSW hospital performance figures for the quarter in three modules: admitted patients, emergency department and elective surgery and provides performance profiles for more than 80 NSW hospitals.

This issue of Hospital Quarterly also includes new analyses in the Admitted Patients module which looks at the volume and average length of stay for acute and non-acute patients and identifies trends over time.

Bureau of Health Information, Deputy Chief Executive, Kim Browne said;

"This quarter shows excellent results in emergency department wait times and the time patients spend in the ED. In particular there has been improvement in reducing the very long wait times or very long stays in emergency departments. This is mostly due to reductions in the time patients who are eventually admitted to hospital, spend in the ED."

"Despite a slight increase in the actual volume of surgeries in NSW hospitals, 97% have been performed on time, an increase of four percentage points compared to one year ago. Wait times for semi-urgent and non-urgent surgeries are now the lowest they have been for two years. This suggests good performance with regards to elective surgery in NSW."

Some of the notable improvements in this report include:

  • The highest percentage of patients leaving the ED within the recommended time of four hours (70%) over the past five years
  • The longest waiting times for treatment in an ED are the lowest they have been in the past five years in every triage category
  • The highest percentage of patients transferred from the ambulance to the care of hospital staff within 30 minutes (87%) for the last four quarters.

"Our quarterly report shows that the performance of NSW hospitals has continued to improve and our analysis indicates patients are spending overall less time in hospital we are also seeing some of the shortest waiting times for surgery and treatment in an ED for many years," Kim Browne said.

There is still variation in performance for these indicators between different hospitals across the state and opportunities for further improvement. Larger volume hospitals have been improving their ED performance but continue to have longer stays in the ED than smaller hospitals.

The full report and profiles of more than 80 hospitals are available at

Page updated: 18 Apr 2019