Emergency Department Patient Experience

Emergency Department Patient Experience

Understanding Patient-Centered Value in the Emergency Department

The emergency department (ED) is a unique environment within the health care system, bridging the worlds of outpatient and inpatient care. It is also a pivotal arena for the provision of acute care services, with approximately 28% of all acute care visits in the United States initiating in the ED (Pitts et al., 2012). Improving performance in the ED is a top priority, and it is becoming increasingly urgent as the industry prepares for Emergency Department Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (EDCAHPS) surveying.

To help you better understand opportunities for improving the safety, quality and experience of care within the emergency department care setting, access ED-specific educational resources and information on this page or in our  resources library

Program Summary: EDCAHPS is a proposed survey for standard measurement of the emergency department patient experience. To prepare for the anticipated EDCAHPS requirement, Press Ganey ​conducted an EDCAHPS Pilot Program which combined EDCAHPS questions from CMS’ proposed official community discharge test survey with proven Press Ganey ED patient experience questions. The data from our pilot program yielded statistically valid insights for all domains, as well as the key performance indicators Likelihood to Recommend and Overall rating.

EDCAHPS Early Adopter Study
White Paper: Our EDCAHPS Early Adopter Study identifies emergency room improvement opportunities in preparation for EDCAHPS. Many hospital inpatients are admitted through the ED, making it a key contributor to end-to-end patient experience. Meeting patients’ needs and reducing suffering in the ED will improve their perceptions of the overall quality of the hospital's care. This study offers key findings that highlight how purposeful, compassionate communication improves the quality of care and influences patients' likelihood to rate their emergency department experiences highly and recommend the facility.

ED Opioid Prescribing is Not Associated with Higher Patient Satisfaction Scores
Industry Article: Authored By: Kim, H. S., Lank, P. M., Pang, P. S., Courtney, D. M., Lambert, B. L., Gravenor, S. J., & McCarthy, D. M. (2016). American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 34(10), 2032-2034. Opioid prescribing does not contribute to an enhanced patient experience. Neither opioid prescribing nor increasing morphine equivalents prescribed is associated with higher patient satisfaction scores. Emergency departments that seek to increase patient satisfaction should focus on improving operational characteristics, such as door-to-doctor times, which are consistently associated with higher satisfaction scores.

Increasing Value in the Emergency Department: Using Data to Drive Improvement
White Paper: Derived from insights presented during the 2015 Press Ganey Emergency Department Executive Summit, this paper provides research and strategies for optimizing the delivery of emergency care. Research and case studies presented in this paper detail insights on how improving ED patients' perceptions of emergency care can help you improve overall organizational performance.

Meeting the Unique Needs of an Aging Population: Mount Sinai’s Geriatric ED
Webinar: As the population ages, a greater proportion of patients presenting to emergency departments are over the age of 65. To address the special needs of this growing population, the emergency department of Mount Sinai Hospital opened New York City’s first Geriatric ED in 2012. Learn the benefits of a geriatric-focused ED and specific strategies and tactics used by Mount Sinai to reduce risk and improve the patient experience.

The Word on ED Wait Times
Blog: There are a few undeniable observations about emergency departments (ED). Nobody wants to be there; nobody wants to wait; and the longer someone is kept waiting, the more they don’t want to be there. This being the case, the findings of a new Press Ganey analysis of survey response data from ED patients show a significant inverse relationship between duration of wait time and patients’ mean Likelihood to Recommend scores: the longer patients wait, the less likely they are to recommend the facility.

What is surprising, however, is what researchers found when they peeled back the layers of this relationship: Waiting in and of itself does not necessarily influence whether or not a patient will recommend the ED to friends and family. The degree to which waiting is accompanied by information about the care plan or reasons for the delay does influence patients’ Likelihood to Recommend ratings.

The Pain Question: Experts Weigh In
Blog: A 2014 study reported in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found no correlation between opioids administered in the emergency department (ED) setting and ED patient experience scores, leading the study authors to conclude that ED clinicians can administer pain medications according to clinical and patient factors without being concerned about negative patient experience scores.

Let's Talk About Pain
Blog: Press Ganey CNO Christy Dempsey discusses pain management and how to improve the safety, quality and experience of care. She found that having conversations  around pain further strengthens the caregiver-patient connection and ensures that patients’ expectations around pain are in line with reality, which increases the likelihood that they will comply with treatment. For caregivers this also means time savings, as patients are less likely to use the call light to ask for pain medication before it’s time for their next dose. Thanks to the connection that has been made, they trust that you will be back when you said you would and that you have their best interests in mind. This makes them feel safe. Nothing we do in health care is more important than that.

A Model Patient Experience
Blog: Press Ganey’s President and CMO of the Strategic Consulting Division, Dr. James Merlino, gives a personal account of his experience in an ER. In the post, he lists four important elements of care that should serve as a standard in any care environment—compassion and empathy, shared decision making, excellent communication skills and coordinated care.