Time spent in the emergency department

Time spent in the ED for 50% of patients

Between 2013–14 and 2016–17, the time within which 50% of patients completed their ED stay increased from 2 hours and 40 minutes to 2 hours and 48 minutes. It remained stable at 2 hours and 48 minutes in 2017–18.

For patients who were admitted to hospital, the time within which 50% of patients completed their ED stay decreased from 4 hours and 27 minutes to 4 hours and 6 minutes between 2013–14 and 2017–18.

The overall length of stay for 50% of patients varied across states and territories. For patients who were not admitted to hospital, the length of stay for 50% of patients was generally shorter for the less urgent triage categories.

See Tables S6.1 and S6.2 for caveat information on these data. Available to download in the data section

Time spent in the ED for 90% of patients

Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, the time within which 90% of patients completed their ED stay increased from
7 hours and 5 minutes to 7 hours and 14 minutes in 2017–18, falling slightly between 2014–15 and 2016–17.

For patients admitted to hospital, the time within which 90% of patients completed their ED stay fell significantly from 11 hours and 49 minutes in 2013–14 to 10 hours and 43 minutes in 2015–16, before rising steadily to 11 hours and 8 minutes in 2017–18.

Nationally, 90% of patients completed their ED stay within 7 hours and 13 minutes in 2017–18.

For patients who were subsequently admitted to the same hospital, the time within which 90% of patients completed their ED stay varied by triage category, ranging from 8 hours and 5 minutes for Non-urgent patients to 11 hours and 39 minutes for Emergency patients.

For patients not subsequently admitted, the the time within which 90% of patients completed their ED stay was 5 hours and 18 minutes. The length of stay was generally longer for patients in the more urgent triage categories.