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About the Target

What is the target?

95 percent of patients will be admitted, discharged, or transferred from an emergency department (ED) within six hours.

The target is a measure of the efficiency of flow of acute (urgent) patients through public hospitals and home again.

Why is this target important?

Emergency department (ED) length of stay is an important measure of the quality of acute (emergency and urgent) care in our public hospitals, because:

  • EDs are designed to provide urgent (acute) health care; the timeliness of treatment delivery (and any time spent waiting) is by definition important for patients
  • long stays in EDs are linked to overcrowding of the ED
  • medical and nursing literature has linked both long stays and overcrowding in EDs to negative clinical outcomes for patients such as increased mortality and longer inpatient lengths of stay
  • overcrowding can also lead to compromised standards of privacy and dignity for patients, for instance,through the use of corridor trolleys to house patients

Who is the target champion?

Dr Angela Pitchford