Availability of Emergency Department Wait Times Information: A Patient-Centered Needs Assessment.
Calder-Sprackman S, Kwok ESH, Bradley R, Landreville J, Perry JJ, Calder LA.
Emergency medicine international. 2021; 2021(): 8883933

Abstract

Introduction: Many Emergency Departments (ED) publish wait times; however, the patient perspective in what information is requested and the quantity of information to post is limited. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study at a tertiary care academic center. First, we conducted focus groups of 7 patients. We then generated themes following content analysis to create a patient survey. We administered in-person surveys to patients in ED waiting rooms at sites randomized for survey administration. We used preassigned shifts utilized for even patient perspective representation of the 24 hours-a-day/7 days-a-week service. We included waiting room patients over 18 years of age and excluded patients directly referred to a specialty service or who did not speak French or English. We analyzed survey data using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: We identified nine dominant focus group themes: wait time definition, wait time notification, communication, education, patient expectations, utilization of the ED, patient behaviour, physical comfort, and patient empowerment. Of the 240 patient questionnaires administered, 81.3% of respondents wanted to know ED wait times before hospital arrival hospital and 90.8% wanted ED wait times posted in the waiting room. Website (46.7%) was the most popular choice for publishing wait times outside the ED. Within the ED, patients had no preference regarding display modality, if times were displayed (39.6%). Overall, 76.7% stated that their satisfaction with the ED would be improved if wait times were posted. Conclusion: ED patients strongly supported having access to wait time information. Patients believed having wait time information will have a positive impact on their overall ED satisfaction. CI - Copyright (c) 2021 Samantha Calder-Sprackman et al.



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