Study: ER workers not confident that hospitals can provide good emergency care

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 10, 2008

A new study shows that staff members who work in the emergency department (ED) think that there are several areas that could be improved to ensure better patient care, reports theWall Street Journal Health Blog. The study, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and recently published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine tried to measure the perception that ED workers had of the care they delivered based on their workspace, team culture, equipment, and other terms of measurement. A total of 3,500 respondents answered the survey from all types of hospitals

The study found that no matter what type of hospital ED staff members worked for, most said their facility did not have adequate space to provide care, and 66% said that the number of patients consistently exceeds the capacity of their hospitals to provide adequate care. Additionally, 40% of respondents said they do not have enough doctors on staff to handle the patient load at the ED’s busiest times.

Suggestions for the future include the redesigning of EDs, increased time spent on patient handoffs to ensure patients are being cared for correctly when they leave the ED, and different staffing models to better prepare for large patient influxes.

To read the Wall Street Journal Health Blog’s article, click here. To read the article from the Annals of Emergency Medicine, click here.