Objectives & Background Hospital overcrowding is a problem that manifests in the Emergency Department (ED) and causes poorer patient outcomes. In an effort to combat overcrowding full capacity protocols have been put in place to move patients from the ED to temporary extra beds placed in the inpatient wards. This improves patient flow in the ED allowing for better provision of care to patients. This study aims to gauge patient opinion on being placed in extra beds rather than staying in the emergency department.
Methods Through a review of current literature the current full capacity protocol in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin was updated to reflect best practice and national guidelines. A structured questionnaire was employed to assess patient attitudes towards boarding in the ED and on the extra beds and to determine the preference patients had on where they would prefer to be boarded as an additional patient.
Results 75 patients took part in the study. 86.67% indicated a preference for being an additional patient on the ward, 10.67% had no preference and the remaining 2.67% preferred being boarded in the ED. This data agreed with similar studies from other centres internationally.
Conclusion Moving patients from the ED into extra beds on the wards frees up space in the ED and enables staff to more effectively treat patients. The vast majority of patients are understanding of the issues facing modern healthcare providers and welcome the opportunity to be moved to quieter, more comfortable areas where they can have better access to the quality healthcare that hospitals exist to provide them with.⇓ ⇓
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