[Identification of quality problems in the clinical information to hospital emergency department patients]

Rev Clin Esp. 2002 Dec;202(12):629-34.
[Article in Spanish]


Objectives: To evaluate the comprehension level of the information provided to patients and relatives attending an emergency department and to know their satisfaction degree.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed. The selection of study patients was made by means of a simple randomized sampling and the total of patients was 213. At discharge, these patients and their relatives answered a written, anonymous questionnaire. To evaluate the comprehension of the information provided, the questionnaire responses were checked against the clinical records.

Results: The self-identification of the health care providers, information on the estimated length of stay at the ED, the explanation of complementary tests and their results significantly determined the satisfaction score on the provided information, which for the patients was 6.3 on a 10-point scale. The percentages of patients who were knowledgeable of the performed tests, diagnosis, and administered treatment were 61.5%, 50.7%, and 35.2%, respectively. Understanding the diagnosis and the administered treatment differed according to age (p < 0.001) and the assimilation of the information on recommendations at patients's discharge differed according to the education level (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The self-identification of health care personnel would allow for a better bi-directional information flow. Given the socio-cultural characteristics of our population, the information provided should be clear and concise. The transmission of information to most emergency department users would be best achieved with previous information of the workflow at the emergency department in the form of booklets at the entrance, and also establishing protocols for the informed consent on different diagnostic and treatment techniques inherent to emergency care.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Information Services / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires