DHHS Progress Chart

Latest figures show that more patients are being seen quickly in Tasmania's Emergency Departments despite increasing demand.

The latest DHHS Progress Chart reveals that emergency department presentations at the State's four hospitals grew by more than 5,500 last financial year to just over 147,000.

But despite the biggest yearly increase in demand for some time, the report shows that Tasmania's hospitals are seeing more patients within clinically recommended timeframes.

During the12 months to the end of June this year, the Royal Hobart Hospital improved across all five ED categories when compared to the previous year and achieved the national target in three.

The Launceston General Hospital also held steady or improved its performance in every category.

The LGH significantly improved its performance in relation to category two patients, with the number of patients seen within the recommended time jumping by more than 20 per cent.

The North West Regional Hospital continues to perform well, meeting every national emergency department target and the Mersey Community Hospital met every category benchmark except two.

While individual Tasmanian Health Organisations still have work to do when it comes to meeting specific benchmarks and achieving the target of 78 per cent of patients leaving the ED within four hours, it is clear that changes in the admissions process for patients from the ED to inpatient wards at the RHH and the new ED, which opened at the Launceston General Hospital in 2012, are having an effect.

Other highlights included:

  • Ambulance Tasmania reduced its median emergency response times by 12 seconds to 11 minutes despite the number of call-outs increasing by more than six per cent in the past year.
  • The statewide waiting list for elective surgery as at June 30, 2013, was 7,434 down from 7,823 the previous year, driven by a 16 per cent decrease at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
  • a record year for BreastScreen Tasmania which continues to out-perform the national target, with 93 per cent of clients assessed within the recommended timeframe.
  • Oral Health Services saw a 40 per cent increase in the number of occasions of general service in the past year and a 25 per cent increase in the number of prosthetics occasions of service.
  • As at June this year, there had been nearly a 38 per cent decrease in the waiting list for dentures and an almost three per cent decrease in the general care waiting list

Additional funding provided under the National Partnership Agreement on Treating More Public Dental Patients has enabled Oral Health Services to increase its occasions of service over the past year.

The report is available at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/about_the_department/performance