What do consumers want to know in the emergency department?

Authors

  • Michelle Kington BN Grad Dip Nurs Grad Cert CCN,

    1. Registered Nurse, Emergency Department, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Alison E Short PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Fellow, Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health, Australian Institute for Health Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, and Visiting Fellow, Centre for Health Stewardship, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
      Alison Short, Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health, Australian Institute for Health Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email: a.short@unsw.edu.au
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  • Note: This work was undertaken while Alison Short was Senior Research Officer with the Emergency Medicine Research Unit (EMRU), UNSW based at Liverpool Hospital, NSW.

Alison Short, Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health, Australian Institute for Health Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email: a.short@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Kington M, Short AE. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 406–411
What do consumers want to know in the emergency department?

Consumers unexpectedly accessing the complex and confusing context of the emergency department (ED) need appropriately communicated information to minimize unrealistic expectations leading to stressed and frustrated behaviour. This pilot project sought consumer opinions to develop an ED informational brochure to improve communication strategies. Thirty-two ED consumers attending a large tertiary hospital completed an anonymous one-page questionnaire comprising 22 topic areas. Descriptive data analysis indicated consumers' interest in information about waiting times, how the ED works, the triage system, identifying staff and parking. Most interest was shown by 31- to 50-year-old consumers. Pragmatically grouped results suggested the need for three information brochures to enhance health communication in the ED, in turn leading to a safer and more congenial health-care context.

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