THE transfer of patients from an ambulance into the emergency department at Central Gippsland Health Service have improved, according the latest statistics.
Health Minister David Davis said the statistics, for the three months to the end of March, showed 96 per cent of patients who arrived at CGHS in an ambulance had their transfer completed within the target of 40 minutes.
“Transfers at the Sale hospital for the three months to the end of March have shown an improvement over the previous three months,” he said.
“In the December quarter 94.6 per cent of transfers were completed in the required 40 minutes, so the latest information shows the performances of ambulances and the hospital have improved.”
CGHS’s transfer performance was above the state average of 79 per cent.
More than 85,000 patients arrived at Victorian hospital emergency departments in the three months to the end of March, up from 82,500 emergency department arrivals in the same period in 2012.
The CGHS emergency department saw 681 ambulance arrivals in the March quarter, up from 652 a year earlier.
Mr Davis said the March Victorian Health Services Performance Report showed Victoria’s major metropolitan hospitals were on bypass just 1.3 per cent of the time.
This was an improvement on the 1.9 per cent bypass rate in the previous quarter, and well below the three per cent state-wide benchmark.
The activation of the hospital early warning system, or “pre-bypass”, dropped over the same period, Mr Davis said.
Mr Davis said the major hospitals activated the hospital early warning system for 1005 hours across the quarter. This was down on the 1219 hours of hospital early warning system activation in the December 2012 quarter.
The warning system is activated when occupancy and workload within the emergency department is at a level that there is a likelihood that bypass criteria will be reached in the next hour.
The average duration of a hospital early warning system period is one hour.
“These figures show a high level of efficiency in the Central Gippsland Health Service emergency department, with doctors, nurses and other staff triaging and treating patients and creating the capacity to accept more patients,” Mr Davis said.
Mr Davis said it was important that Ambulance Victoria and hospitals continued to work together to improve the transfer of patients, which helped free up ambulances to attend other calls.