Private hospital emergency departments in Australia: Challenges and opportunities

Fitzgerald G., Toloo G., He J., Doig G., Rosengren D., Rothwell S., Sultana R., Costello S. and Hou X.-Y. (2013) Private hospital emergency departments in Australia: Challenges and opportunities. EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia, 25 3: 233-240. doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12082

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Author Fitzgerald G.
Toloo G.
He J.
Doig G.
Rosengren D.
Rothwell S.
Sultana R.
Costello S.
Hou X.-Y.
Title Private hospital emergency departments in Australia: Challenges and opportunities
Journal name EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-6731
Publication date 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1742-6723.12082
Open Access Status
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 233
End page 240
Total pages 8
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Subject 2711 Emergency Medicine
Abstract Background: Public hospital EDs in Australia have become increasingly congested because of increasing demand and access block. Six percent of ED patients attend private hospital EDs whereas 45% of the population hold private health insurance. Objectives: This study describes the patients attending a small selection of four private hospital EDs in Queensland and Victoria, and tests the feasibility of a private ED database. Methods: De-identified routinely collected patient data were provided by the four participating private hospital and amalgamated into a single data set. Result: The mean age of private ED patients was 52 years. Males outnumbered females in all age groups except > 80 years. Attendance was higher on weekends and Mondays, and between 08.00 and 20.00 h. There were 6.6% of the patients triaged as categories 1 and 2, and 60% were categories 4 or 5. There were 36.4% that required hospital admission. Also, 96% of the patients had some kind of insurance. Furthermore, 72% were self-referred and 12% were referred by private medical practitioners. Approximately 25% arrived by ambulance. There were 69% that completed their ED treatment within 4h. Conclusion: This study is the first public description of patients attending private EDs in Australia. Private EDs have a significant role to play in acute medical care and in providing access to private hospitals which could alleviate pressure on public EDs. This study demonstrates the need for consolidated data based on a consistent data set and data dictionary to enable system-wide analysis, benchmarking and evaluation.
Keyword Demand
Emergency department
Private hospital
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Wed, 30 Apr 2014, 00:22:40 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine