Managers were "quite ambitious" in their initial predictions
of gains from a $2.7 million observation unit in Dunedin
Hospital's emergency department (ED), and these have been
revised down, a Southern District Health Board committee
Patient services executive director Lexie O'Shea told the
board's hospital committee the unit added 3% to 4% to the
number of patients treated within the national six-hour
Before it opened in August, the board gave estimates of up to
a 10% improvement in the time target, on which Dunedin
Hospital is a consistently poor performer.
The ED processed 87.9% of patients within six hours in
October, the best result this financial year.
Patients requiring extended monitoring are formally admitted
to the 10-bed unit.
Mrs O'Shea said the board must review growing attendances at
ED, which were up about 5% on last year.
Committee member Richard Thomson said while he was
"terrified" of yet another discussion of how to reduce
numbers attending ED, the board must look wider than the
hospital to work out what was happening.
It should survey general practice to determine whether
attendance patterns were changing in the community as well,