Queensland to make health data available online

The Queensland Government has tackled a new idea which will see critical data about the State’s hospital emergency departments made available to the public online.

Similar to the Federal Government’s My School initiative, the Queensland Health website will give the public access to data about emergency department access block, wait times, and attendances by hospital and by triage category, which is currently used by clinicians to determine the placement of staff and resources.

Queensland Deputy Premier and health minister, Paul Lucas, said if people can see their local emergency department's circumstances it will enable them to make a decision about whether a GP would be more appropriate for non-urgent cases.

“Queensland already reports more comprehensive data than any other state,” he said in a statement. “Our elective surgery waiting times continue to be the best in Australia at 27 days compared to a national average of 34 days.

"And while our ED performance has moved from sixth to third we know we can do better.

"That's why we have committed to regularly publishing this additional data - because it's an area where we saw we could give the public more information about how their emergency departments are travelling.”

The data is manually uploaded by emergency department clinicians at every hospital, and is not intended to be a measure of performance.

Queensland Health will upload January’s data as soon as it becomes available, and said it is in the process of developing a system to enable the data to be uploaded more regularly.

Earlier this month, the Federal Government had to shore up backend capacity for its My Schools website after it crashed under an influx of more than 9 million hits on the opening day.

The website was forced intermittently offine after it received some 290,000 hits within a hour of its 1am launch.

It was down and out for many users after it took a massive 2.5 million hits by 10am. The deluge continued as IT support worked to balance the load, with more than 4.5 million hits taken by 2pm.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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