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Outpatient attendance dashboard

We publish a report on the average number of outpatient appointments seen by health region, hospital, specialty and consultant in 21 hospitals.

We don't show data for all hospitals. But are working towards adding more hospitals to this report in the future.

The data in this report is preliminary. This means that hospitals may update it in the future. But it is a good indicator of activity based on the latest information we have.

How we use this data

We use this report to:

  • increase outpatient activity and reduce outpatient waiting times
  • monitor the average number of outpatient appointments
  • help us improve performance and patient access
  • provide information to the Department of Health

This report is updated monthly. But the reporting period is monthly in arrears.

Monthly in arrears explained

Monthly in arrears means the report is published monthly but it does not include data covering the month directly previous. For example, the report published on July 1 will cover up to 31 May. It will not cover June.

How to read the report

The report has two pages:

  • monthly average attendance
  • monthly average attendance throughput by WTE (whole-time equivalent)
Whole-time equivalent (WTE) explained

Not all consultants work full-time at a hospital. Some divide their time at more than 1 hospital.

Because of this, we look at the hours they work at a hospital against the standard full-time hours for that grade. This calculation is known as whole-time equivalent (WTE).

If a consultant works the standard number of hours for their grade each month, their WTE would be 1. If they worked less than the standard number of hours for their grade at a hospital, their WTE would be calculated accordingly.

To get a consultant's WTE we:

  1. take the number of hours they worked that month (excluding overtime)
  2. divide it by the standard number of hours for that grade

The WTE value for an individual consultant cannot be greater than 1.

Monthly average attendance

This shows the monthly average number of outpatient appointments by hospital, specialty, health region and consultant. It does not include appointments where a patient did not attend.

Consultants are referenced by a series of numbers and letters.

Using the dashboard

Select a hospital to view information on each specialty. Select a specialty to see the number of associated consultants.

Use the side navigation or horizontal bar charts to view the information by

  • health region
  • hospital
  • specialty

Hover over a horizontal bar to see the monthly average figure for that health region, hospital or specialty.

Not mapped

Some figures are listed as 'not mapped'. This means that we could not identify the consultant grade that led a particular appointment.

Read more information about our data sources and how we align them

Monthly average attendance throughput by WTE

This shows the monthly average number of appointments that consultants have seen at a hospital by each specialty.

This is relative to the number of whole-time equivalent hours that hospital has for that specialty.

How we calculate the monthly average by WTE

To calculate the monthly average by WTE, we divide the monthly average attendance by the total WTE for any specialty.

How we calculate the national average by WTE

To calculate the national average we:

  1. take the monthly average appointment for each specialty with a WTE
  2. divide it by the total WTE for that specialty

You can compare each figure to the national average. The difference between the two figures is also noted.

Select 'more information' to see:

  • the number of consultants working within that specialty
  • the monthly average number of appointments each consultant has seen
  • the number of whole-time equivalent consultant hours recorded by HSE human resources (HR). This is listed as 'HR WTE'

Variations between hospitals

The monthly average number of appointments seen at each hospital varies for a number of reasons.

Not just consultant-led appointments

Data on appointments includes all information recorded by the hospital’s patient administration system. This includes if the appointment was delivered by other health professionals working with a consultant in that specialty, such as a nurse.

But in our outpatient report the number of appointments this specialty sees is attributed only to the consultant who leads the specialty team. This increases their reported number of appointments.

Consultants working in other settings

Some consultants work in multiple healthcare settings. So the number of patients seen by them in one hospital does not represent the total of their outpatient work.

Some consultants and clinical specialties also have less focus on outpatient care and more focus on other care, such as inpatient care.

About the data source

We have used 2 data sources:

  • Consultants National Whole-Time Equivalent (WTE) Report
  • data from hospital patient administration systems

We map information on consultants grades from the consultants report to the equivalent specialty listed on the data from the hospitals.

Mapping WTE hours to specialties

Mapping consultants WTE hours to specialties is not 100% conclusive.

Sometimes, a listed specialty for a hospital may not have an equivalent WTE grade. For example, a visiting consultant may provide a hospital specialty service. But their WTE may be accredited to another hospital.

Sometimes a listed specialty for a hospital may not have data from HR on any accredited WTE.

Mapping the WTE is based only on the consultant grade.

Data limitations

Sometimes the outpatient activity may not be correctly accredited. This is because of differences at each hospital in how they record medical specialties and sub-specialties.

This has an impact on our data report, particularly around outpatient activity, the average number of appointments by WTE and the variance between the monthly and national averages.