Waiting time for emergency department care
Definition: Percentage of patients who were seen within national benchmarks for waiting times for each triage category in public hospital emergency departments. The national benchmarks are:
Resuscitation: immediate (within seconds)
Emergency: within 10 minutes
Urgent: within 30 minutes
Semi-urgent: within 60 minutes
Non-urgent: within 120 minutes.
Source: National Non-admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database, 2016–17; Table S1.4.37.
- In 2016–17, 73% of all emergency department presentations were seen within the recommended time for their triage category. Presentations triaged as Urgent had the lowest proportion of presentations seen on time (66%), while almost 100% of Resuscitation presentations were seen within the recommended time.
- The proportion of patients seen on time remained relatively stable between 2012–13 (72%) and 2016–17 (73%).
- The proportion of Indigenous Australians and Other Australians seen on time were similar at 74% and 73%, respectively.
- Patients living in Remote areas were most likely to be seen on time (81%), while patients in Major cities were least likely to be seen on time (70%).
For more information, see Chapter 7.10 'Emergency department care'.