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Keywords:

  • education;
  • emergency care;
  • health communication;
  • health care;
  • information

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.