Patients at Wollongong Hospital's emergency department are being treated faster but the hospital is still not reaching state performance targets.
According to figures released by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner yesterday, in the six-month period to June, 52.4 per cent of patients were able to leave the hospital's ED within four hours.
That's an 8.2 per cent increase on the same period last year but remains some way below the NEAT (National Emergency Access Target) benchmark for NSW hospitals of 71 per cent.
Wollongong Hospital is one of 20 hospitals across the state participating in the NSW Whole of Hospital Program that started in February to improve access to high-quality, safe, swift and affordable healthcare.
Mrs Skinner said the latest figures showed the program was having a profound effect on emergency department performance at participating hospitals, including Wollongong.
"The most notable improvements include Hornsby Hospital, which has increased its NEAT from 49 to 64.1 per cent, and Nepean Hospital, which has jumped from 46.3 to 60.1 per cent," she said.
"These great results are testament to the hard work of these hospitals' doctors, nurses and staff who are making innovative decisions on the ground to improve their emergency treatment times.
"As I visit hospitals across the state, I continue to be amazed at the local initiatives being implemented to ensure patients are receiving best care."
Wollongong Hospital general manager Nicole Sheppard said a range of initiatives had contributed to the improved performance in the emergency department.
"Wollongong Hospital has been reviewing and redesigning processes within the [ED] and the whole of hospital to improve time frames for management of patients in the ED and transfer to an inpatient bed," she said.
"Whilst there is still work to be done, the local health district has made significant inroads towards achieving NEAT benchmarks. This is an ongoing and long-term process involving a range of staff, clinicians and other health partners."
At a statewide level, the new figures show a record improvement in ED performance, with 65.6 per cent of patients leaving emergency departments within four hours from January to June, compared with 59.3 per cent the previous year.
Hospitals including Tweed, Fairfield, Manly, Griffith, Bathurst, Ryde, Auburn, Sydney and Sydney Children's all surpassed the 71 per cent benchmark in the time period.