Improving Patient Engagement Project (IPEP)

Mrs Kellie Vivekanantham1, Ms Jo-Anne McShane1, A/Prof  Deborah Leach1, Mr  Paul  Buntine1, Ms Robyn  Gunn1, Mr  Louis Pouw1, Ms Melissa Elliott2
1Emergency Department, Box Hill Hospital, Eastern Health, Box Hill , Australia, 2Centre for Patient Experience, Eastern Health , Wantirna, Australia

Method:  A focus group of consumers indicated that patients were interested in viewing their medical notes in the ED, and that a paper-based print out would be more beneficial that viewing online.  A randomised controlled trial research project was designed to look at improving the patient experience for patients being discharged to the Short Stay Unit (SSU). 200 patients were enrolled in the study and were randomly allocated to either an intervention or non-intervention stream. Prior to transferring from the ED to the SSU, patients allocated to the intervention stream were provided a copy of their medical notes, with all other patients provided standard verbal information. A survey was utilised to measure satisfaction based upon the information provided to patients when discharged from the SSU, with a follow-up phone call conducted 2 weeks later.
Results: It was identified that the non-intervention vs intervention patients found the information provided to be beneficial (48% v’s 62.5%) and that they better understood their medical condition and treatment plan when in SSU (59% v’s 73.9%). Follow-up post discharge found the intervention patients were more satisfied with the information provided (57% v’s 66%) and felt better informed about their condition (23% v’s 48%).
Conclusion: Providing a copy of patients medical notes had a positive impact on patient satisfaction and their understanding of their medical condition. Improved transparent plans of care provided our patients with the opportunity to ask, discuss and fully understand their treatment.

Kellie is the Box Hill Emergency Nurse Unit Manager.  She has held many senior nursing roles over the last two decades, and is passionate about advocating for and developing emergency nurses whilst also continually striving to improve patient experience and outcomes. Improving the patient experience and providing consumer focused care can be difficult in a fast-paced Emergency Department (ED) environment. Partnering with our consumers is so important as recognised within the national standards as we are now in an era where our patients are encouraged to engage and provide feedback about their care experience within health services via patient opinion sites.