New data released by the Bureau of Health Information on Wednesday revealed the majority of patients presenting to Western NSW emergency departments were positive about their experiences of care in 2019-20.
More than 1,300 of the 18,000 who responded across the state came from Central West areas like Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo, with results for most survey questions improving compared to the previous financial year.
Across the Western NSW Local Health District a total of 65 per cent of patients rated their emergency department care as 'very good', which marked an increase of six percentage points from the previous year.
More than 70 per cent of patients also rated the health professionals who treated them as 'very good', with that result also rising by more than five percentage points from the 12 months.
Almost 75 per cent of patients also said they were triaged within 15 minutes and 81 per cent said they were treated within an hour afterward, in terms of the latter the survey's comparison marked a 16 percentage point rise.
"These results show ED patients ... had more positive experiences overall and across their journey of care when compared with the previous year's survey," BHI chief executive, Dr Dianne Watson said.
The survey is designed to allow health districts to identify where they can continue improving as well, with results in some areas worsening between July 2019 and June 2020, compared to the previous year.
The data showed small declines in the percentage of patients who felt healthcare staff did everything they could to manage pain and explained X-rays or scan results in a way they could understand.
- READ MORE: Poll shows 57 per cent prefer Berejiklian
There was also a marginal increase of one percentage point in the number of patients who experienced a complication during or directly after their visit, although the number of those complications that were rated 'very serious' was significantly lower.
Dr Watson said the results across NSW were, overall, positive considering the level of improvement however explained how important the survey is in terms of recognising those areas that can still develop across the state.
- READ MORE: Regional house prices soar 17 per cent
"Patients' experiences are an important factor in the overall quality and outcomes of their care," she said.
"Healthcare professionals now have these results which they can use to tailor care to the needs of their patients."
The most recent survey period included the emergence of COVID-19, which resulted in significant changes in how services were delivered, including the establishment of dedicated testing clinics and increased use of personal protective equipment in hospitals.
In 2020, there were also fewer attendances at emergency departments.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.