NSW Health has achieved considerable success over recent years in reducing average length of stay despite increasing pressure on hospital admissions by older and chronically ill patients. This success has been driven by changes in the way health services are delivered, such as the increasing use of same day care for treatments that previously required overnight hospital stays.
There is a good level of length of stay information available and this information is actively used to manage the time patients spend in hospital.
Available data suggest that the rate of unplanned readmissions has not reduced in NSW despite various statewide and local strategies. NSW Health is undertaking research to better understand unplanned readmissions, their causes and the best ways to address them.
There are many local and statewide initiatives that aim to reduce length of stay and unplanned readmissions. However, the impact of some local and statewide initiatives on length of stay and unplanned readmissions are not well understood and quantified due to the lack of evaluations conducted.