Northeast Health Wangaratta has been deemed the most efficient large regional hospital in Victoria and ranks second across the entire state.
An Auditor-General report released this week examined how long patients were staying at 21 of the largest regional and metropolitan Victorian hospitals between the 2011-12 and 2013-14 financial years.
It found a 29 per cent variation in patient stays across the board.
This meant some of the best-performing hospitals were discharging patients as much as a day earlier than other hospitals with similar treatments.
Casey was rated to be the most efficient hospital in Victoria followed by Wangaratta.
The auditor-general found nearly 145,000 bed days could be freed up for other patients if all 21 hospitals were functioning like the top performers.
Northeast Health chief executive Margaret Bennett said there had been a concerted focus at the hospital on the length of stay for patients.
“This is in an environment where we're seeing a significant increase in activity,” she said.
“That's why it’s very important we are consistently focused on length of stay so we are best able to meet demands of people requiring admission.
“A big factor is planing ... to make sure there are a range of planning processes in place, that includes discharge planning being a focus right from the point of admission.”
Ms Bennett credited new programs and the surrounding district hospitals for the facility’s success.
She told The Border Mail the hospital had been doing community care, which involved experienced district nurses paying visits to patients in their homes which resulted in freeing up ward space.
She said efficiency hadn’t translated to a dip in patient satisfaction.
The recent results of the Victorian Healthcare Experience Survey showed 96 per cent of Northeast Health patients thought their care was good or very good compared to a state average of 92 per cent.