While we don’t have an official date that ED-PECs (Emergency Department Patient Experiences with Care) will go live, the time to prepare is now. Much like CAHPS surveys, this survey will focus on certain domains with specific questions related to the efficiency of emergency departments, from wait times to treatment. Here are three key strategies you should consider as you prepare:
- Throughput: One of the questions on the survey asks whether patients saw a provider within 30 minutes of arrival. In the ED-PECs pilot, we have seen a strong correlation between this question and the overall rating of ED care. Starting now, evaluate your throughput process and the length of time it takes for patients to be seen and begin treatment.
- Communication: Care narration makes a difference in the way patients and their families perceive your ED. Are staff setting appropriate expectations about the duration of labs and tests? The patient experience starts the moment a patient enters your organization. As a leader, take some time to observe how patients are greeted by security, registration and even volunteers to determine how effectively they communicate and show compassion to your patients and their families.
- Celebrate Wins: Staff can fall victim to “survey fatigue” and become frustrated about changes made to improve survey scores. As leaders, we have the privilege of showing our teams the true impact they make, not only in improving scores but also in improving our patients’ care. Harvest positive comments from patients and families when you round or while doing observations. Share these wins at your huddles to demonstrate the excellent work that your team is doing. Make a point to explain how patient experience correlates to quality and safe patient care.
Navigating the ever-changing landscape of healthcare is never easy, but this is also an exciting time as leaders to engage our staffs in this change and ultimately empower them to provide the best possible care to all patients. By taking time now to evaluate throughput, improve communication and celebrate wins, you are building a strong foundation for the ED-PECs survey while positively impacting your organization’s financial future and your patients’ care.
Angie Esbenshade, RN, MSN, MBA, NE-BC, has over two decades of clinical nursing and administrative experience in emergency, trauma, and critical care. Angie leads the emergency department services team at Studer Group and Huron which helps organizations achieve clinical and operational excellence in the emergency department.