Hospital proves capable amid higher number of patients

MORE people attending Orange Health Service’s emergency department led to slightly longer waiting times in the April quarter. 

The NSW Bureau of Health Information released its statistics for April to June on Wednesday, which revealed the average time to start treatment for emergency patients, such as those suffering chest pain or severe burns, rose from five minutes to six minutes. 

Non-urgent patients, including cuts and scrapes, were the next fastest to be seen, at 17 minutes, consistent with the previous year.

Urgent patients facing conditions such as dehydration or moderate blood loss were seen in 18 minutes on average, two minutes slower than the same time last year. 

Semi-urgent patients facing sprained ankles or earaches received treatment after an average of 22 minutes – one minute more than 2017.

The total number of patients presenting to Orange rose from 7160 in 2017 to 7298 patients this year, with 7238 patients deemed emergency patients.

The number of people requiring resuscitation rose almost 40 per cent to 81, however, the number of people who spent four hours or less at the emergency department remained at 76 per cent and the average time taken to transfer ambulance patients to hospital staff was 10 minutes.

Western Local Health District chief executive officer Scott McLachlan said increases in resuscitation and emergency statistics suggested hospitals could handle more complex cases, rather than transferring them to metropolitan facilities.

“It’s a priority for the WNSWLHD that we get patients to the facility which is best placed to address their health needs as quickly as possible and that we provide that care as close to where they live as possible,” he said.

“We can see that more complex emergency work is being done in the LHD, which is a strong indicator of the maturing of the services we provide locally.”

He said the hospital’s 876 elective surgeries, 99.9 per cent of them on time, was a result to be proud of. 


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