Evaluation of the Emergency Department Patient Experience Officer

  • Brabin, Jodie (Recipient)

Prize: GrantSuccessful

Description

The purpose of the project is to independently evaluate the impact and efficacy of the role of the Emergency Department Patient Experience Officer on the experience of a range of stakeholders including patients, carers, emergency department clinicians, managers, administrative and security staff.

Patient experience has been identified to be positively connected with patient safety, clinical effectiveness, and health outcomes (Trzeciak et al., 2017, Trzeciak and Mazzarelli, 2019). Upon the release of the NSW Health Policy ‘Patients Awaiting Care in the Emergency Department’ in 2018, the Ministry of Health approached the Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks to identify opportunities to improve patient and carer experience of emergency departments. Four strategies were identified:

Enhanced waiting room amenities

Web-based multilingual information for patients and carers

Patient experience development training for emergency department staff; and

Patient Experience Officers.

The Emergency Department Patient Experience Program was piloted in 2019 across four NSW Health sites (Blacktown, Lismore, Liverpool and Nepean Hospitals). The program, including Patient Experience Officers, has since been implemented in 51 sites across NSW Health, supported by recommendations of the initial evaluation and the Peter Anderson review (Anderson, 2020).

The Patient Experience Officer is a non-clinical member of staff who proactively keeps patients and carers informed of the processes in the emergency department, specifically during their time in the waiting room. The Patient Experience Officers received training in customer service from Service NSW. The Emergency Department Patient Experience Program was awarded the Premier’s Award in 2019.

NSW Ministry of Health have commissioned a team from Charles Sturt University to evaluate the impact of the Patient Experience Officer component of the program. Specifically, this evaluation will:  

examine the impact and efficacy of the emergency department Patient Experience Officer role; and

examine the impact of the Emergency Department Patient Experience Officer role on a range of stakeholders including the Officers themselves, emergency department clinicians, managers, administrative and security staff, patients/carers. 

Additional to retrospective (deidentified) data analysis, a detailed examination of existing Ministry of Health documents, stakeholder semi structured interviews and surveys will be conducted.   

The results of the evaluation will provide important information about various aspects of the Patient Experience Officer role such as intended and unintended impacts, barriers and facilitators, and recommendations to inform the next phase of the program and ensure that patients, carers, families, and staff continue to receive positive emergency department experiences.   

Realist evaluation methodology will be used to inform the design, conduct and reporting of this evaluation.  Realist evaluation provides a deeper understanding of how, why and for whom interventions work.  Using this evaluation approach, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected and analysed.

A draft report will be provided to the NSW Ministry of Health in December 2023, prior to a final report at the completion of the evaluation in January 2024.
Degree of recognitionRegional
Granting OrganisationsNSW Ministry of Health

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