The Wesley Emergency Centre

When a patient attends an emergency department in Australia a triage nurse assesses the urgency of the patient’s condition and assigns them a triage category ranging from one to five on the Australasian Triage Scale. Hospitals with emergency centres measure the time taken for a patient to be seen in accordance with their assigned triage category.

At the Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre patients are seen first by a trained triage nurse. The nurse will ask questions about the patient’s condition and record all necessary observations such as blood pressure, pulse and temperature. A doctor will then review and assess the patient’s condition– the urgency of the patient’s condition will determine how quickly this happens. At The Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre, 95.3 per cent of patients are seen by a doctor within 30 minutes.

By capturing the percentage of patients seen within the timeframes recommended by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) we can measure The Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre’s performance.

The definitions of these measures are as follows:

Category 1: Immediately life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor within two minutes of arriving.
Category 2: Imminently life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor within 10 minutes of arriving.
Category 3: Potentially life-threatening. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor within 30 minutes of arriving.
Category 4: Potentially serious. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor within 60 minutes of arriving.
Category 5: Less urgent. Patient should be seen by a treating doctor within 120 minutes of arriving.

Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre

twh-emergency-cat1
Category 1: Patient should be seen by a doctor within two minutes of arrival.

Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre

twh-emergency-cat2
Category 2: Patient should be seen by a doctor within 10 minutes of arrival. A higher rate is better.

Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre

twh-emergency-cat3
Category 3: Patient should be seen by a doctor within 30 minutes of arrival. A higher rate is better.

Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre

twh-emergency-cat4
Category 4: Patient should be seen by a doctor within 60 minutes of arrival. A higher rate is better.

Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre

twh-emergency-cat5
Category 5: Patient should be seen by a doctor within 120 minutes of arrival. A higher rate is better.

How we are working to improve the Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre wait times

Our Director of Emergency Medicine and the Emergency Centre team regularly review their performance and seek opportunities to improve by:

  • Monitoring the number of ambulance presentations to our emergency centre
  • Monitoring bed availability within the hospital for patient admission to the wards
  • Regularly reviewing staffing levels (medical and nursing) to match activity levels within the centre
  • Working with ward staff and bed managers to optimise bed access once an admitted patient is discharged


Emergency Centre Length of Stay

At The Wesley Emergency Centre, patient wait time is measured from the time the patient arrives at the emergency centre to the time the patient physically leaves; that is, whether the patient is admitted to a bed in a ward, transferred to another hospital, or goes home. The National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) is measured as the percentage of patients who leave the emergency department within four hours of their arrival.

If the patient does not require urgent admission to a ward bed we regularly review the patient’s condition and conduct any necessary tests. The types of tests required can sometimes extend the patient’s length of stay in the emergency centre. Of the patients who do not require admission to hospital, 91.7% are in the emergency centre for less than four hours. When a decision is made to admit a patient to the ward, we continue to care for them in the Emergency Centre until a ward bed is available, and continue to arrange the necessary investigations including blood tests and X-rays, rather than transferring them to a separate ‘holding area’ or ‘wait department’.

Emergency Centre length of stay less than four hours

twh-emergency-length-of-stay
Emergency Centre (EC) patient wait time is measured from the time the patient arrives at the EC to the time they leave (e.g. goes home, admitted to a ward, transferred to another hospital).

How we are working to improve The Wesley Hospital Emergency Centre length of stay

The Wesley Hospital Director of Emergency Medicine and the emergency centre team regularly review their performance and seek opportunities to improve by:
  • Working with ward staff and bed managers to optimise bed access for patients requiring admission
  • Meeting triage times and ensuring timely identification of patients requiring admission to a ward