About 700 lives have been spared in emergency departments across the country thanks to a push to get patients admitted quickly, new research says.
In 2009, the Government introduced a national target to shorten the length of stay in ED in an effort to help reduce overcrowding, improve health outcomes for patients, and improve acute hospital services.
Auckland City Hospital emergency medicine director Dr Peter Jones, who co-led a $1.1 million investigation into the outcome of the mandatory six-hour national target, said it was associated with a “substantial” 50 per cent reduction in the number of emergency department deaths.
The target had also seen the average length of time patients were spending in ED reduce by over an hour. For those patients who required admission to hospital, the length of their ED stay had reduced by about three hours.
ED waiting times were a disgrace previously, and as this research shows people died because of them. Thanks to great leadership at the clinical level and up, 93% of ED patients are admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours.
Labour get obsessed with inputs such as whether the funding increases have been as much as some formula claims they should be. But National has focused the health sector on actual outcomes such as quicker ED times, faster cancer treatment times, more immunisations etc.