Proportion completed within 4 hours

How many visits were completed within 4 hours?

Between 2013–14 and 2015–16, the proportion of presentations completed within 4 hours increased from 72.7% to 73.2%. It decreased to 71% between 2015–16 and 2017–18 (excludes data for the Australian Capital Territory in 2015–16).

For patients admitted to hospital, the proportion of presentations completed within 4 hours increased from 45% in
2013–14 to 49% in 2017–18, and this proportion was higher for the less urgent triage categories.

For patients not admitted to hospital, 81% of presentations were completed within 4 hours, including 94% of Non-urgent presentations.

See Tables 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 and 6.6 for caveat information on these data. Available to download in the data section. 

Proportion of patients whose emergency department stay is less than or equal to 4 hours (proportion completed within 4 hours)

The National Healthcare Agreement performance indicator Waiting time for emergency hospital care—proportion of patients whose length of emergency department stay is less than or equal to 4 hours (proportion completed within 4 hours) can be related to the Australian Health Performance Framework dimensions ‘Accessibility’ and ‘Effectiveness’ within the domain ‘Health system performance’. Under the NHA, it relates to the outcome area of Australians receive appropriate high quality and affordable hospital and hospital related care.

The scope of this indicator is all public hospitals reporting to the NAPEDC NMDS.

In general, presentations for patients who required more urgent treatment (reflected by the triage category) were not as likely to be completed within 4 hours. For example, 55% of Resuscitation and 58% of Emergency visits were completed within 4 hours, compared with 79% of Semi-urgent visits and 92% of Non-urgent visits.

Public acute group B hospitals generally achieved a higher proportion of visits completed within 4 hours (76%) than Principal referral and women’s and children’s hospitals and Public acute group A hospitals (67% and 68%, respectively).

Complementary hospital-level data for this indicator is released on the MyHospitals website.

See Appendix A for information on the quality of National Healthcare Agreement data.