Duration of clinical care

The duration of clinical care is a measure of the amount of time during which the patient receives clinical care (is treated and/or observed), excluding any time spent as an admitted patient in the ED. It is measured as the time from the commencement of clinical care to the conclusion of the non-admitted component of care (episode end). The measures relate to Emergency presentations, rather than other types of visits.

Generally, the duration of clinical care was greater for patients who were subsequently admitted to the same hospital than for other patients.

See Table 6.7 for caveat information on these data. Available to download in the data section.

For patients subsequently admitted to the same hospital:

  • 35% had a duration of clinical care of 4 hours or more
  • patients with an Urgent triage category were most likely to spend more than 4 hours in ED (37%).

For patients not subsequently admitted:

  • 12% had a duration of clinical care of 4 hours or more
  • patients with a Resuscitation triage category (38%) were most likely to spend more than 4 hours in the ED.