More patients, better waiting times at Katoomba hospital

Katoomba hospital: Improved performance.
Katoomba hospital: Improved performance.

Katoomba hospital dealt with a 14 per cent increase in patients in its emergency department (ED) in the last quarter compared to the same time last year but managed to cut most waiting times.

Nepean Hospital, on the other hand, fell way behind. Just 49 per cent of patients were treated within the recommended waiting times.

The latest quarterly report from the Bureau of Health Information, released yesterday, showed that Katoomba treated 1,119 patients in its ED in April-June 2019, up from 979 in the same period in 2018.

Triage 2 patients (emergency) were treated within 9 minutes of arrival, slightly worse than last year's 8 minutes; triage 3 (urgent) within 18 minutes, slightly better than 2018 with 19 minutes; triage 4 (semi-urgent) showed an improvement, treated within 23 minutes (27 minutes in 2018) and triage 5 (non-urgent) were seen within 30 minutes (compared to 33 minutes last year).

Overall, 76 per cent of patients were treated at Katoomba within recommended times and nearly four out of every five (79 per cent) left the ED within four hours of arrival, an improvement on 2018 (77 per cent).

Nepean: Fewer than 50 per cent treated within recommended waiting times.

Nepean: Fewer than 50 per cent treated within recommended waiting times.

The number of patients seen at Nepean was also greater this year with 18,535 patients arriving at the ED, including 5,737 by ambulance. This was an increase of 5 per cent on 2018.

Triage breakdowns for Nepean were: Emergency - treated within 14 minutes (13 minutes last year); urgent took 45 minutes (up from 37 minutes in 2018), semi-urgent 46 minutes (36 minutes in 2018) and non-urgent waited for 42 minutes for treatment (35 minutes last year).

Fifty-six per cent of patients left Nepean's ED within four hours, down from 63 per cent last year.

Katoomba hospital also improved its waiting list for elective surgery, with 134 on the list at the end of June this year, compared with 165 at the same time last year.

Nepean went the other way, with 2,887 waiting for elective surgery, compared with 2,786 in June 2018.