Emergency Department response times improve despite higher patient presentation rate
Published at: 05 Aug 2019
The Victorian Government has revealed improved Goulburn Valley Health emergency department treatment times as well as better ambulance response times in Greater Shepparton.
According to the government, GV Health treated 100 per cent of its category 1 (when care is immediately required) emergency patients immediately upon arrival at the hospital.
The data revealed the hospital also reduced its elective surgery waiting lists to 534 patients which was down from 588 a year earlier.
GV Health chief executive Matt Sharp said the figures demonstrated the hospital’s emergency department had improved its treatment rates despite more patients being admitted to ED each year.
The last financial year has seen more than 36 270 patients present to the ED for treatment.
He said there had been more than a 14 per cent increase in ED demand in the last two financial years and particularly for category 1-3 patients which rose by 23.6 per cent.
“People are using the emergency department for the right reasons in the context that the increase in demand we are experiencing is for the most unwell patients,” he said.
Mr Sharp explained why there had been an overall increase in patients presenting to ED.
“People are more acutely unwell and this has also resulted in an increase in patients presenting to the emergency department by ambulance. In the last two financial years, patients presenting by ambulance has increased by more than 24 per cent and this means it’s a busier ED environment.
“As a result, the staff are working harder and doing a terrific job to treat and care for people who are more unwell.
"Due to this increased demand and with patients being more unwell, we are also admitting more people to our inpatient areas and transferring patients to hospitals in Melbourne for higher levels of treatment.
“On top of increasing demand we’re managing to treat more patients and see them in a timely way.”
Mr Sharp explained most of the category 1-3 patients presented to ED via ambulance and the government also revealed improved ambulance response times in Greater Shepparton.
In City of Greater Shepparton, data showed 86.9 per cent of Greater Shepparton’s Code 1 ambulances arrived within 15 minutes – better than the 83.7 per cent a year prior.
Goulburn Valley Health services a catchment area of 120 000 people.