Changes to Emergency Department welcomed by patients and staff

ED patient journey map Christina Harrison

People visiting the Emergency Department (ED) at Torbay Hospital have welcomed changes to the waiting area to help them understand what to expect while waiting to be seen.

Led by Emergency Department Sister, Christina Harrison, and based on patient and staff feedback, there is now a patient journey map as you come through the main entrance and in the triage area.

The map is supported by graphics to help people understand what to expect when they arrive in ED, the assessment process (based on the urgency of their symptoms or injury), and any required care and treatment they may need.

There is also new directional signage to help people navigate their way to treatment areas, and a TV screen which provides information such as waiting times and a graphic showing the range of uniforms worn by different ED staff.

The changes are part of a wider patient improvement project to improve people’s experiences at the hospital. Christina said: “It has been fantastic seeing the first phase of the project come to life. I’m really pleased to see the impact it has had on our patients, staff and relatives already. The project aims to help people understand what happens during their stay with us.

“We understand that waiting in an Emergency Department may cause anxiety, so we wanted to help ease this by managing people’s expectations. Patients and staff have been involved throughout the process and have invaluable in helping us to get to this stage.

“Feedback has been incredible and other Trusts have expressed an interest in adopting the patient journey map. I want to thank all those which have contributed their ideas, time and effort to date. I am very proud of what we have achieved.

“Work doesn’t stop here though and are now looking to progress directional floor signage and another TV to provide additional information ranging from health advice to volunteering and recruitment opportunities.”

Gemma Stevens, Registered Nurse, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation, said: “The patient journey map gives patients a simple overview of what their journey may look like. It’s a great addition to the department and has made a difference to managing patients and relatives’ expectations.”

Some feedback about the project from patients attending ED:

“The emergency department patient journey is clear, concise and easy to follow. I now understand what happens next which is very reassuring.”

“Wow! The sign is a lovely welcome into the hospital. It’s really useful to see what I’m waiting for. Something which all ED’s should have.”

“This really helps explain to my mother what we are waiting for. I’m her carer as she has dementia, and so knowing what needs to happen or what we are waiting for helps me explain this to her. Thank you.”

“It looks great! It makes sense, unfortunately my son has learning difficulties and can’t read the text but he can understand what the pictures mean. This is really easy to understand for both me and my son.”

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