Designing Informatics Systems to Support Patients in the Emergency Department
Enid Montague, Northwestern University
Emergency medicine is a medical specialty based on the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of the full spectrum of illnesses and injuries affecting patients of all age groups. Emergency medicine research has largely focused on the patient experience in terms of patient satisfaction. Clinician needs have been studied in terms of workflow and teamwork. However, little work has looked at patient and family members needs from a user experience perspective and how to create patient-centered emergency departments (ED). Patients can be key stakeholders in patient safety and key members of the care provision team, this may especially be the case in fast paced, dynamic environments such as EDs. The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to understand and model patient experience using quantified observational methods. The first phase included over 300 hours of observation of patient visits to the ED to document workflow and communication; survey instruments were used to evaluate both patient and ED physicians’ perceptions of the patient experience. Outcomes from this data are presented in the form of themes and will be illustrated with workflow models. Our findings indicate that there is an opportunity to improve patient experience with health information technologies. New technologies can enhance the patient experience, improve patient engagement and care outcomes. The discussion will focus on the preliminary design efforts to develop informatics tools to better engage ED patients and process of engaging patients in the design process.