High Volume Healthcare as a Livable Environment: Strategies from the ED

Angela Mazzi

High volume Emergency Departments can be chaotic environments that are very stressful for patients, families, and staff. There are several challenges that such a department faces: reducing wait times, providing a supportive and efficient work environment for staff, and maintaining a safe and secure environment. This paper recommends evidence-based strategies to improve the patient experience by promoting flow, quality of care, safety, and security. From the importance of the first encounter experience, to the habitability of the waiting room and exam room, to ease of wayfinding; being able to reduce the cognitive load for patients and families helps to reduce stress. Staff well-being translates directly to the patient experience, influencing both quality and safety. Maximize staff safety and security is explored through strategies such as decentralization and arraying of spaces to promote flexibility and visualization.


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