The National Health Performance Authority was set up set up under the National Health Reform Act 2011 as an independent body to provide locally relevant and nationally consistent information on the performance of healthcare organisations and health systems. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a set of nearly 50 indicators that will be used by the Authority to report on the performance of hospitals and other health service providers.
The Authority has chosen to focus this, its first report, on a subset of those indicators that relate to the performance of public hospitals and their emergency departments (EDs). In particular, the report examines the extent to which patients depart public hospital EDs within four hours of arrival, following the introduction of the National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). Under the target, states and territories are expected to ensure that 90% of all patients presenting to public hospital EDs will depart within four hours by 2015.