15 Mar 2023

Te Whatu Ora still checking health data after ED figures revealed incorrect

8:02 pm on 15 March 2023
Whangarei Hospital

Whangarei Hospital said there had been 318 people through an ED, when it were actually 5535. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

Te Whatu Ora is still checking whether it has published any more incorrect data, a week after emergency department figures were revealed to be seriously wrong.

All performance data was taken down from the health agency's website last week to check whether it also contained mistakes.

Only emergency data was currently available, having been corrected, while the nine other criteria were still offline.

The missing data was crucial to measuring how the health system was keeping up, and included immunisation rates for children, access to youth mental health services and how long people were waiting for surgery.

Te Whatu Ora said it did not know when it would be finished reviewing it.

The corrected emergency department data that was republished on Friday evening showed the extent of mistakes in the initial reporting, with huge differences in some of the numbers.

For December alone, Wairarapa was originally reported to have had 10,320 people through its emergency department.

In reality it was just 1470.

At the other end of the scale, Northland's original figures said there had been 318 people through an ED when it were actually 5535.

The data helps determine whether a target has been met of having 95 percent of patients moved on from an emergency department within six hours of arriving.

Under the old figures, Northland showed nearly 100 percent of people through in the optimal time. It was actually 79 percent.

The biggest drop was for Southland, which had reported dealing with 93 percent of patients within six hours. The new data says it is just 70 percent.

Taranaki and Whanganui also had drops of around 20 percentage points.

On the flip side, Tairawhiti and West Coast both improved by the same margin.

Mid Central improved by 10 percentage points but was still the worst performing district, with just 48 percent of people spending less than six hours in Palmerston North Hospital.

Wellington's Capital and Coast was not much better on 53 percent.

The new stats can be viewed here.

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