Albany Hospital had the best emergency department of all large regional hospitals Australia-wide last financial year, according to a National Health Performance Authority report.
Health professionals have claimed the results, released last Friday, put Albany Hospital ahead of Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Peel hospitals, and indicate changes put in place to improve emergency department procedures have proved successful.
From July 2011 to June this year, 92 per cent of the 23,915 people who presented to the Albany emergency department were seen within four hours.
This compares to a WA target of 76 per cent for 2012 and the national peer performance of 78 per cent.
Ninety per cent of patients left the emergency department within an average 5.5 hours, compared to the national large regional hospital average of more than 12 hours.
Australian Medical Association president Richard Choong said the result was excellent for Albany Hospital and staff should be proud.
“For a small hospital that doesn’t have a large quantity of medical staff, it demonstrates that they have excellent services,” he said.
“It also indicates that there is an appropriate use of the emergency department at Albany Hospital, meaning that the patients are turning up appropriately and being dealt with efficiently,” he said.
WA County Health Service Great Southern regional director Susan Kay said changes had been made to Albany Hospital in recent years to improve emergency department procedures.
“Albany Hospital has systematically reviewed the way services are delivered in the emergency department as well as throughout the hospital, and made the necessary changes,” she said.
But despite Albany Hospital’s high national ranking this financial year, the hospital did not perform as well as it did the previous year in triage categories.
Ms Kay said this was due to an increase in serious cases.
There were 2079 emergency category presentations, compared with 1505 the year before.