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Emergency Department patient survey helping improve services

19 May 2021

More than eight in 10 patients (84 per cent) presenting to Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) hospital emergency departments rate their overall experience as very good or good, according to the latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) data.
The results, collected from the BHI Emergency Department Patient Survey 2019-20, are based on 17,839 responses from across NSW, including 863 patients who received treatment in Nepean, Blue Mountains and Lithgow Hospital emergency departments (EDs).
NBMLHD Chief Executive, Kay Hyman said the positive feedback demonstrates how hard the District has worked at enhancing the patient experience under the added pressure of COVID-19.
“Across the District our focus is to deliver world-class care for our patients and the community. It’s pleasing to see we have improved upon the previous year’s results in key areas such as access, cleanliness and communication,” said Mrs Hyman.
“We’ve recently seen the successful introduction of two patient experience managers at Nepean Hospital, to help patients and families during their stay in ED. This is allowing our clinical staff more time to focus on delivering quality care to our patients.”
The patient experience managers at Nepean Hospital were part of a pilot statewide trial. They are specially trained staff who greet people when they arrive at the ED and help them to navigate their journey through the ED.
The vast majority of surveyed patients, 97 per cent, also praised the courteousness and politeness of staff throughout their ED journey.
“With Stage One of the $1 billion Nepean Redevelopment nearing completion both staff and the community can look forward to the opportunities that will arise from the new hospital building, including an expanded emergency department,” said Mrs Hyman.
Nepean Hospital improved survey ratings, compared with 2018-19, across 14 questions covering information provided to patients, the ED environment, cleanliness and more people would speak highly of their experience in the ED.
At Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital more than nine in 10 patients (91 per cent) indicated a health professional gave them the right amount of information relating to their condition and treatment. Staff etiquette also rated highly, with 93 per cent of surveyed patients reporting they were always treated with respect and dignity.
The majority of patients (95 per cent) who presented to Lithgow Hospital ED agreed that treating clinicians explained their condition and/or treatment in a way that was easy to understand. Almost all surveyed patients (99 per cent) said the ED waiting area was kept fairly clean or higher.
The 2020-21 budget for Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District was over $904 million, an increase of more than $29 million, or 3.4 per cent, on the 2019-20 budget.
The record 2020-21 NSW Health budget of $29.3 billion includes $30.0 million for additional emergency department attendances and ambulance calls and $14.5 million to recruit more temporary security staff and more patient experience officers to improve patients’ experiences in our public hospitals.