Emergency departments

Emergency departments (EDs) are an important component of New Zealand’s health care system, treating people who have a serious illness or injury that requires urgent attention. There are close to 1 million ED attendances in New Zealand every year.

This section provides information about visits to emergency departments, and the Shorter stays in emergency departments health target which is focused on improving acute patient flow.

One of 6 national health targets since 1 July 2009, shorter stays in emergency departments is defined as ‘95% of patients will be admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within 6 hours’. The aim of the target is to improve the quality and timeliness of care New Zealanders receive when they attend an ED by eliminating waste and delays across the whole health system from primary care to hospital admission through to discharge.

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