Emergency care indicators
Patient Off Stretcher Times (POST)
Patient Off Stretcher Times (POST) monitors the time taken to transfer a patient from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) upon arrival to an Emergency Department (ED) to the ED clinical staff. Queensland Health’s target is to transfer all Code 1 (emergency) and Code 2 (urgent) patients, arriving at an ED via ambulance, within 30 minutes. The measure provided on the Hospital Performance Website shows the percentage of patients who were successfully transferred in under 30 minutes by month and by quarter.
The Australian Triage Scale uses five categories to determine urgency, where 1 is the most urgent and 5 is the least urgent.
Immediately life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 2 minutes of arriving.
Imminently life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 10 minutes of arriving.
Potentially life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 30 minutes of arriving.
Potentially serious. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 60 minutes of arriving.
Less urgent. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor or nurse within 120 minutes of arriving.
Number of attendances
How busy was the ED?
ED attendances show how many patients arrive at the ED within the latest quarter. Attendances indicate the demand for ED services. The number of patients in each triage category shows the mix of urgency.
Variation in number of attendances
Was the ED busier than last year?
Variation percentages compare ED attendances with the same quarter last year. A positive percentage means that more patients attended the ED than this time last year, and a negative percentage indicates fewer patients attended.
Patients seen within the clinically recommended times
Were patients seen within an appropriate times?
This measure shows how well hospital EDs performed at starting patient care. It captures the percentage of patients treated within the timeframes recommended by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM). The higher the percentage, the better the performance.
Median waiting time to treatment
How many minutes did 50% of people wait?
Another performance measure for hospitals. The table shows the median number of minutes that patients waited to receive care, during the quarter. This median is calculated by arranging each patient's waiting time in order and then selecting the waiting time that is in the middle. For example, if the median waiting time for category 3 patients is 20 minutes, this means that half of the patients were seen for treatment in 20 minutes or less, and the other half of patients were seen after 20 minutes. Note that a median value is not displayed where there are less than 10 patients treated.
Percentage of patients who did not wait for treatments
What percentage of patients didn't wait for treatment?
Shows the percentage of patients who didn't wait for care. For various reasons not all patients wait for treatment. Patients in less urgent triage categories may leave because the wait is longer than they expect.
Patients admitted from the Emergency Department
How many patients ended up staying in this hospital?
Measures the percentage of patients who arrived at the ED and were admitted to a bed in a ward for further care.
Admissions to hospital within four hours
What proportion of patients who needed further care were admitted within four hours?
When a hospital does not have a ward bed available immediately, patients spend more time in the ED. It is measured as the percentage of patients admitted within 4 hours of arrival at the ED. The higher the percentage, the better the performance.
Patients whose ED stay was within four hours
How long did patients stay in the ED?
This shows the percentage of patients whose ED stay in the ED was within four hours per quarter. As part of the National Health Reform agenda, Queensland Health is committed to reducing the length of time patients stay in the emergency department and Queensland is participating in a national program called the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). The NEAT is assessed across the whole year. The figure reported here uses the same measure as the NEAT but reports performance for the latest quarter only. The higher the percentage, the better the performance. It is measured from the time the patient arrives at the emergency department to the time the patient has physically left, whether the patient is admitted to a bed in a ward, transferred to another hospital, or goes home.
Left after treatment commenced
What number and percentage of patients left after treatment commenced?
Shows the number and percentage of patients who presented to an emergency department, commenced clinical care for their presenting problem and decided to leave the emergency department before their care was complete.
Number of patients who did not wait for treatment
What number of patients didn't wait for treatment?
Shows the number of patients who didn't wait for care. For various reasons not all patients wait for treatment. Patients in less urgent triage categories may leave because the wait is longer than they expect.