46 Testing of the ‘always events’ approach to improve the patient experience in the emergency department
This project aimed to identify issues patients would like to see improved when interacting with the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) and as a result generate measurable and feasible Always Events (AEs) based on patient feedback that can be implemented via a Quality Improvement (QI) process. We then looked to assess and improve on the delivery of the agreed AEs to enhance MIU patient experience.Methods
AEs were identified by using a short semi-structured survey questionnaire with a free text response section from 45 patients. Patients were asked what should always happen in the ED. Iterative thematic analysis identified information provision and explaining how the department worked as key themes. Two interventions, an educational poster and a video campaign, were designed and implemented to address this issue. Improvement was assessed via convenience sampling of patient questionnaires using a five-point bipolar Likert scale and free text responses which were compared to a set of baseline results via run charts to examine impact of each intervention. A total of 300 patients completed questionnaires throughout the baseline and intervention periods.Results
Baseline results stood at 80% for patient satisfaction regarding information provision, rising to 88% by the end of the poster intervention and 92% by the end of the video intervention. Understanding of how the ED functions stood at 83% in the baseline sample before rising to 86% throughout the poster and video intervention. Composite survey results rose from a baseline level of 82.2% to 86.3% for the poster intervention and 88.8% by the end of the video intervention stage. Patient questionnaires indicated that information provision directly from staff was variable throughout the study period.Discussion
Implementing the AE approach in the MIU has had a positive effect on patient experience. The poster intervention had the greatest impact on enhancing patient understanding. Our study indicated that direct information provision from staff was sufficient for patients and improvements in responses were due to the project interventions. Next steps should be to further implement the video in the department via inclusion on the patient Wi-Fi homepage and waiting room television to maximise the impact of the video. The patient–staff co-design nature of this study shows the AE methods strength in improving patient-centred care. In summary, this project emphasises that the AE method is an effective, valid and beneficial form of Quality Improvement to be used within EDs which has the potential for widespread future use.