4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2017   
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HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS

People access hospitals and emergency departments to diagnose and treat serious illness or injury. Information on levels of access is useful in determining service provision. In 2016-17, approximately 2.4 million people (13%) aged 15 years and over were admitted to hospital in the last 12 months and 2.7 million (14%) visited an emergency department (ED) for their own health. The proportion of people who had visited an ED or been admitted to hospital has remained steady since 2009. See Tables 1, 2.1 and 2.2 in Downloads.

ADMISSIONS TO HOSPITAL


The graph below shows admissions to hospital in the last 12 months by age and sex. Overall, females were more likely than males to have been admitted to hospital (14% compared with 11%). This difference is particularly evident in the child bearing age group of 15 to 44 years where females were more than twice as likely as males to have been admitted to hospital (14% compared with 6%). However, after the age of 55 years, males were more likely to have been admitted to hospital than females (20% compared with 17%). See Table 2.2 in Downloads.

The proportion of people who had been admitted to hospital generally increased with age, with one in twelve people (8%) aged 15 to 24 years being admitted to hospital compared with nearly one third of people (31%) aged 85 years and over. See Table 2.2 in Downloads.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, admitted to hospital in the last 12 months

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings


Hospital admission is also related to health characteristics, with those who rated their health as fair or poor more likely to be admitted to hospital than those who rated their health as excellent, very good, or good (28% compared with 10%). Likewise, those with a long term health condition were more likely to have been admitted to hospital than those without (19% compared with 7%). See Table 3.2 in Downloads.

Of those who were admitted to hospital in the last 12 months, 73% were admitted only once, 22% were admitted two or three times and 4% were admitted four or more times. See Table 16 in Downloads.

VISITS TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT


The graph below shows visits to the ED in the last 12 months by age and sex. Females were more likely to visit the ED than males (15% compared with 13%). People in the older age groups were most likely to visit the ED, with 19% of people aged 75 to 84 years and 24% of those aged 85 years and over visiting, compared with 13% of those aged 15 to 74 years. See Table 2.2 in Downloads.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, visited a hospital emergency department in the last 12 months

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings



As with hospital admissions, visits to the ED are also related to health characteristics, with those who rated their health as fair or poor more likely to have visited the ED than those who rated their health as excellent, very good, or good (28% compared with 11%). Likewise, those with a long term health condition were more likely to have visited the ED than those without (20% compared with 8%). See Table 3.2 in Downloads.

People living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to visit the ED than those living in areas of least disadvantage (17% compared with 12%). In addition, those living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were more likely to visit the ED than those living in major cities (18% compared with 13%). See Table 3.2 in Downloads.

When people who visited the ED were asked the main reason they went to an ED instead of a GP, nearly half (46%) reported that they were taken by ambulance or the condition was serious. Around 21% of people reported a GP was not available when required, 13% reported that the GP did not have the required equipment or facilities and 10% reported that they were sent by a GP. People living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were almost twice as likely to report visiting an ED because a GP was not available when required than those living in major cities (29% compared with 17%). Of those who visited an ED for their own health in the last 12 months, 17% thought care could have been provided by a GP. This was a similar rate to 2015-16. See Tables 20.2 and 21.2 in Downloads.

EXPERIENCE WITH HOSPITAL AND EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT DOCTORS AND NURSES

The way a patient is treated by a health professional is an important aspect of their satisfaction with their care. All respondents who had seen a hospital or ED doctor or nurse were asked for their perceptions on how they were treated by the doctor or nurse.

Of those who visited an ED in the last 12 months, 78% reported that the ED nurses always listened carefully to them (an increase from 75% in 2015-16), 79% reported they always showed them respect and 75% reported they always spent enough time with them. The results were slightly lower for ED doctors and specialists, with 71% reporting that ED doctors and specialists always listened carefully to them, 74% reporting they always showed them respect and 69% reporting they always spent enough time with them. See Table 21.2 in Downloads.