Testing of the 'Always Events' approach to improve the patient experience in the emergency department

Lowe, D. J. , Kay, C., Taylor, D., Littlewood, N., Hepburn, S. and Bowie, P. (2018) Testing of the 'Always Events' approach to improve the patient experience in the emergency department. BMJ Open Quality, 7(4), e000195. (doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2017-000195) (PMID:30555927) (PMCID:PMC6267318)

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Maintaining quality of care and meeting patient expectations in the face of rising demand within emergency departments (ED) is a significant challenge for clinicians. This study tested the Always Events (AE) approach as a means to identify AE's relevance to patient care in the ED and act on this to address patient concerns. The project team looked to identify aspects of care patients would like to see improved within the minor injuries stream (MIS). Following triage, patients typically have presentations that do not require admission and require a single interaction with a clinician. Interventions seeking to improve patient experience were created and impact was monitored using patient feedback using a quality improvement (QI) framework. AEs were identified via convenience sampling using a short semistructured survey questionnaire. Patients were asked 'What should always happen in the Emergency Department?' Communication and information provision regarding how the department worked were identified as key themes. Two interventions, an educational poster and a video campaign, were designed and implemented. Improvement was assessed via convenience sampling of patient questionnaires using a 5-point Likert scale and free-text responses. Initial patient satisfaction levels regarding information provision stood at 80%, rising to 88% after our poster intervention and 92% by the end of the video intervention. Understanding of how the ED functions was initially 83% in the baseline sample before rising to 86% following poster and video interventions. Patient questionnaires indicated that information provision directly from staff was variable throughout the study period. Implementing the AE approach in the MIS has improved patient experience. Our poster intervention had the greatest benefit regarding patient understanding of the ED and information provision. This project has also indicated that the AE method can be successfully combined with a QI tool and applied in the ED to address patient needs.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project was partially funded by The Health Foundation.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bowie, Dr Paul and Lowe, Dr David and Littlewood, Dr Nicola
Authors: Lowe, D. J., Kay, C., Taylor, D., Littlewood, N., Hepburn, S., and Bowie, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:BMJ Open Quality
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2399-6641
Published Online:19 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open Quality 7(4): e000195
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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