Resource implications of a national health target: The New Zealand experience of a Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments target

Peter Jones, Liza Elizaveta Sopina, Toni Ashton

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    Abstrakt

    Background
    The Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments health target was introduced in New Zealand in 2009. District Health Boards (DHBs) are expected to meet the target with no additional funding or incentives. The costs of implementing such targets have not previously been studied.

    Method
    A survey of clinical/service managers in ED throughout New Zealand determined the type and cost of resources used for the target. Responses to the target were classified according to their impact in ED, the hospital and the community. Quantifiable resource changes were assigned a financial value and grouped into categories: structure (facilities/beds), staff and processes. Simple statistics were used to describe the data, and the correlation between expenditure and target performance was determined.

    Results
    There was 100% response to the survey. Most DHBs reported some expenditure specifically on the target, with estimated total expenditure of over NZ$52 m. The majority of expenditure occurred in ED (60.8%) and hospital (38.7%) with little spent in the community. New staff accounted for 76.5% of expenditure. Per capita expenditure in the ED was associated with improved target performance (r = 0.48, P = 0.03), whereas expenditure in the hospital was not (r = 0.08, P = 0.75).

    Conclusion
    The fact that estimated expenditure on the target was over $50 million without additional funding suggests that DHBs were able to make savings through improved efficiencies and/or that funds were reallocated from other services. The majority of expenditure occurred in the ED. Most of the funds were spent on staff, and this was associated with improved target performance.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftEmergency Medicine Australasia (Print)
    Vol/bind26
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)579-584
    ISSN1742-6731
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2014

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