Emergency department information: does it effect patients' perception and satisfaction about the care given in an emergency department?

Eur J Emerg Med. 1999 Sep;6(3):245-8. doi: 10.1097/00063110-199909000-00013.


The aim of this study was to find out if informing the patients about the facts of an emergency department (ED) on arrival influences their behaviour and satisfaction about the care given in the ED. For 5 days an information form was distributed on arrival to all patients visiting the ED and a questionnaire directed at all patients when leaving the ED. For a former 3 days the same questionnaire directed at the patients was distributed without giving them the information form. This form contained information about how the ED functions, how long and why the patients wait, and which patients are taken care of first. The patients who were not given the information form served as the control group; the patients who were given an information form but did not read it were also included in the same control group. Questionnaires of the informed group and the control group were compared. A total of 397 patients were given a questionnaire; 288 of them were given an information form and 109 did not receive a form. The number of the patients who read the information form was 178 and the rest (219 patients) served as controls. The informed group was more satisfied about the care given to them (p = 0.1), the total time spent in the ED (p = 0.3), and the information given to them (p = 0.1). More patients in the informed group stated that they would prefer this ED next time or recommend it to others (p = 0.02). The overall degree in satisfaction of the informed patients was better (p = 0.03). The differences in the overall satisfaction and preference of this ED's parameters were statistically significant, the other parameters were not so significant. These results proved that giving general information to patients visiting the ED can influence the degree of their satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Services / standards*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction*