Rough Script – What to cover:
My project looks at the waiting room of an urgent care healthcare provider much like the after hours care on Adelaide road. In New Zealand there are approximately 2.5 million urgent care patient consultations per year.
It’s not the intense high-stress environment of the emergency department at the hospital where you could be waiting all night long. But neither the passive appointment-led general practitioners doctor office where you might wait for 20 minutes. It’s the space between.
Through my research I found many theories that talked about how to improve patient experience in a waiting room. My main aim of this project is to facilitate a space that patients feel comfortable coming back to and not having to dread the potential few hours wait.
I found that patients would have a more positive waiting room experience through receiving reassurance, updates on their wait and facilitating a way for patients to pass the time, essentially providing a better communication between staff and patients. One big fact I found in my research was that many patients don’t understand how the system behind urgent care waiting rooms work. This system is called Triage.
With my ideas I am thinking of creating a system through a set of cards that allow the patient to understand where they are in relation to other patients. These cards would show patients what triage number they have been assigned and what it means for them. The triage scale poster on the wall would provide understanding for the patient but also create transparency of information between the healthcare provider and patient. This would be in conjunction with an app that benefits both staff and patient. The patient can answer the nurse’s questions prior to being seen which can save admin and nurse time whilst the patient will receive updates on queue and estimated wait time.
After Tama Kirikiri’s lecture I felt like I needed to incorporate other New Zealand cultures in my project as it is a space for everyone. I am currently in communication with a few Māori healthcare providers talking about Māori health perspectives.
I have also been in communication with a few ED nurses from Waikato Hospital who are collating questions that they ask patients upon arrival (after triage – not to determine triage) that I could incorporate into my app. Eg. Are you a smoker?
This would help save admin from the nurses side and give patients something to do during the wait time.
My questions for you are
- As a patient do you think an app with more information regarding your place in the waiting room be beneficial?
- If you were in pain, how would you like to be distracted so that time passes faster?
- If I was to create a guide for healthcare professionals for a positive waiting room experience would this be too much of a pivot from my aim?