4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/11/2014   
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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 2013–14, approximately 2.3 million people aged 15 years and over (12.8%) were admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months and 2.6 million (14.3%) had visited an emergency department (ED). The proportions of people who had visited an ED or been admitted to hospital have remained steady across the five cycles of the survey (2009 to 2013–14). (Tables 1 and 2.2)

ADMISSIONS TO HOSPITAL

The graph below shows admissions to hospital in the previous 12 months by age and sex. Overall, females are more likely than males to have been admitted to hospital (14.4% compared with 11.2%). This difference is particularly evident in the child bearing related age group of 15–44 years where females are twice as likely as males of the same age to have been admitted to hospital (13.9% compared with 6.6%). However, males are more likely to have been admitted after the age of 55 (19.2% compared to 16.9%). (Tables 2.1 and 2.2).

The proportion of people who had been admitted to hospital generally increased with age, with one in twelve people aged 15–24 being admitted to hospital (8.4% ) compared with one in four people aged 85 years and over (28.4%). (Table 2.2)

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

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



People living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage are more likely to be admitted to hospital compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (15.2% compared with 12.1%). Those who live in the outer regional, remote and very remote areas of Australia are more likely to be admitted to hospital compared with those living in major cities (15.3% compared with 12.1%). (Table 3.2)

Hospital admission is also related to health characteristics, with those having a long term health condition more likely to have been admitted to hospital than those without a long term health condition (18.7% compared with 7.4%). Likewise, those who rated their health as fair or poor are more likely to be admitted to hospital than those who rated their health as excellent, very good, or good (27.3% compared with 10.6%). (Table 3.2)


VISITS TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT


The graph below shows visits to the emergency department (ED) in the previous 12 months by age and sex. Females are only slightly more likely than males to visit the emergency department (14.8% compared with 13.8%). The proportion of visits to the ED varies by age, rising after the age of 75. (Table 2.2)

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

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



People living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more likely to visit the ED compared with those living in areas of least socio-economic disadvantage (18.6% compared with 11.7%). In addition, those living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas of Australia were more likely to visit the ED compared with those living in major cities (19.5% compared with 12.6%). (Table 3.2)

As with hospital admissions, visits to the ED are also related to health characteristics, with those having a long term health condition more likely to have visited the ED than those without a long term health condition (19.3% compared with 9.6%). (Table 3.2)

Of those who went to the ED for their own health in the previous 12 months, 21.6% thought care could have been provided by a general practitioner. When asked the main reason they went to an ED instead of a GP, just under half reported that they were taken by ambulance (48.5%). Around one quarter (23.2%) said GP not available when required, one in ten said they were sent by a GP (10.2%) and a further 3.2% said that the waiting time for a GP was too long. Interestingly, those living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas of Australia were more likely to report a GP not available when required compared with those living in major cities (32.7% compared with 19.1%). (Tables 18.2 and 19.2)


EXPERIENCE WITH HOSPITAL AND EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT DOCTORS AND NURSES

The way that 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 they had seen.

Of those who had been admitted to hospital, 74.2% reported that the doctors or specialists always listened carefully to them, 76.4% reported they always showed them respect and 72.0% reported they always spent enough time with them. The results were slightly lower for ED doctors and specialists, with 67.1%, 70.3% and 64.8% for always listened carefully, showed respect and spent enough time with, respectively. (Tables 16.2 and 19.2)