Department of Health

Key messages

  • A series of initiatives to improve the emergency department (ED) patient experience have been undertaken by health services.
  • Strategies for improving the experience of Aboriginal people in the ED grew out of a project involving local health services.
  • Signage, consumer information in waiting rooms, and help for older patients now contribute to an improved ED experience.

Health services aim to improve the patient experience in the emergency department (ED) through communication strategies that inform patients and carers about emergency care, by improving amenities that make waiting rooms more comfortable, and by ensuring all waiting room patients are appropriately monitored.

Aboriginal people in the emergency department

The department initiated the Improving the Patient Experience for Aboriginal People in the Emergency Department project to explore opportunities for improving Aboriginal patient experiences.

The final report describes the findings from five projects to improve the ED experiences of Aboriginal people.

The strategies outlined in the report may assist health services to implement local projects to improve the patient experience for Aboriginal people in their ED.

Signage improvement initiative

Strategies to improve signage and upgrade amenities to cater for special needs patients, the elderly, children and those with behavioural problems have resulted in Wayfinding and signage guidelines.

Consumer information materials for Victorian emergency departments

Welcome to the emergency department is a communication skills program for frontline ED staff that has been developed and rolled out across all Victorian hospitals.

Improving the experience of older patients

The physical environment of health services can impact on patient experience and health outcomes. The Improving the environment for older people in Victorian emergency departments report supports the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care for older people in the ED.

Reviewed 05 October 2015


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