Objectives & Background There is compelling evidence that way we treat fellow staff can reflect the way we treat patients. The greeting of staff/patients on wards is not something that is generally looked at and Emergency Medicine is in a unique position to measure this.
When patients are moved to wards there is an expectation that their welcome will be professional and courteous. After the lead author received a clinical adverse event regarding the lack of welcome an HCA received on transferring a patient, he started a prospective collection of mixed data around the type of reception that patients and staff had when they arrived on the wards.
Methods Over 3 months in 2015 staff who were transferring patients were asked to fill in a standardised questionnaire regarding how they were received on the wards. The data was anonymised to person but not ward.
The data collection tool was designed for ease of use by portering/HCA staff (as they do the majority of our transfers). Data collection involved both visual analogue scales (for warmth of reception), a Likert scale and boxes for free text (good and bad points).
A data set of 150 reports was decided upon a priori as a pragmatic compromise, getting sufficient examples to have robust conclusions but also stopping and using the findings before the good will of the transfer staff was exhausted. Reporting was not mandated but the reasons for doing this were explained to the portering and HCA staff who usually were very willing to take part.
There were no exclusion criteria.
Results 150 completed questionnaires were received, with a 65/35 split between those classified as good (warm) and those regarded as being poor (cold).
Areas where there was a consistently positive or negative welcome were identified.
Comments have been coded and classified and tabulated. Narratives have been used to describe the perceived experiences.
Conclusion There are areas of our hospital where patients consistently receive a warm and caring welcome. Unfortunately there are also areas where the culture permits a negative and cold welcome.
Used sensitively, this information can help inform organisational/cultural change at a ward level to the benefit of both patients and staff.
The information that we have gleaned is now being used to inform change and praise at a ward level within the trust. We have started a “Meet, Greet and Treat” programe with staff, aiming to improve the experience for all.
- emergency departments
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