The Department of Health says it has exceeded its patient discharge target from acute hospitals to care homes and other support services.
Some 436 patients are currently waiting to move from the country's hospitals to more appropriate care, the lowest level since 2011. The number has fallen from a record high of 832 in 2014, and 659 earlier in 2016.
The key target had been to have fewer than 500 patients waiting to move from acute hospitals to more appropriate care by the end of the year.
Minister Harris said: "We have been putting an intense focus on this in the Winter Initiative, providing additional home help hours and community supports and it's great to see real results for those patients who no longer need to be in our hospitals.
"This has an important impact on the hospitals themselves too, making more beds available for sick patients and reducing the waiting times to access those beds."