Improving the patient experience in a pediatric emergency department

Driven in part by evidence that sitting during patient interactions is likely to improve perceptions, Norton Children's Hospital emergency department has installed lightweight stools to the back of the door, with a child-friendly “Sit SPOT” design to remind providers to sit during the interaction.

Improving patient experience can be as simple as taking a seat. At the Norton Children’s Hospital emergency department, each room has a lightweight stool attached to the back of the door, with a child-friendly “Sit SPOT” design to remind providers to sit during the interaction.

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The initiative, driven in part by evidence that sitting during patient interactions is likely to improve perceptions of the interaction, how much time was spent and providers’ compassion and understanding.

The Sit SPOT also reminds providers to follow four simple steps that can improve patients’ adherence to their treatment, boosting overall outcomes.

  • Set the stage: Get down to eye level with the patient and family. Introduce yourself, asking what name the patient prefers to be called and addressing the others in the room.
  • Participate: Start the conversation. Empathize with your patient and engage in active listening.
  • Observe: Ask the patient about why they have come to the emergency department. Ask if you can examine them. Explain what you are doing and why.
  • Teach: Explain the next steps. Teach the patient about their illness or injury in easy-to-understand terms, then recap the interaction.

 


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