ISLHD hospitals demand increasing in latest BHI Quarterly

12 June 2019
Emergency department entrance

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) completed more elective surgery and saw more patients in emergency departments than last year, according to the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) Quarterly results.

ISLHD Executive Director Clinical Operations, Margaret Martin, welcomed the report, which showed 89.9 per cent of the 3274 elective surgery procedures, were completed within clinically recommended timeframes.

“Nearly all of the 755 urgent surgeries (99.9 per cent) were completed on time, and 89.5 per cent of 921 semi-urgent surgeries were completed on time, a stable result compared with 2018.”

“Emergency Department presentations were higher than the same period last year, with 43,444 presentations in the January to March 2019 quarter, which was 6.1 per cent or 2506 presentations more than the previous year,” Ms Martin said.

The 2018-19 Budget for ISLHD is over $951 million, an increase of nearly $47.8 million on the 2017-18 annualised budget. Between June 2012 and June 2018 ISLHD has also increased its workforce by an additional 917 full time equivalent staff – an increase of more than 19 per cent, including 164 more doctors and 372 more nurses.

Ms Martin said there were several great achievements across the District:

  • Shellharbour Hospital achieved all elective surgery targets with 99.7 per cent of 744 surgeries done on time and performed 99.8 percent of its 500 non-urgent surgeries on time – an improvement of 0.2 percentage points on the same period last year.
  • Shoalhaven Hospital performed 93.5 per cent of the 933 surgeries on time, an improvement of 4.2 percentage points compared to the 2018 quarter. There was also a 5.7 percentage point improvement in the amount of semi-urgent surgeries performed on time with 96.3 per cent of the 273 surgeries completed. 89.3 per cent of 438 non urgent surgeries were performed on time compared to 84 per cent in the 2018 period – a 5.3 percentage point improvement. Meanwhile at Milton Ulladulla Hospital, all 12 elective surgeries completed were done on time.
  • Wollongong Hospital performed almost all (99.8 per cent) of its 548 urgent elective surgeries on time. There have been some challenges for the other categories with the demands for emergency surgery at Wollongong, however the elective surgery performance has improved since January 2019.

Ms Martin said the District’s EDs have a number of initiatives to improve the delivery and timeliness of emergency department care. At Wollongong Hospital, the ED continues to review its systems and models of care and develop new initiatives such as the introduction of specialised staff who are trained to start clinically initiated tasks for a patient under supervision of a nurse or medical officer, and who will help with movement of patients through the department.

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