Study objective: To describe the opportunities for health promotion in emergency departments (EDs).
Methods: A comprehensive literature review and consultation with ED staff (seven focus groups) and other health professionals (workshop).
Results: Opportunities for patient health information and education within EDs are described in the literature. In contrast, the health promoting hospitals literature showcases integrated approaches for health promotion, emphasizing organisational structures, and culture changes to support effective health promotion. This type of integration has not developed in EDs, where individual issues based health promotion projects have emerged. ED staff readily described the:existing health promotion interventions and possible improvements and opportunities for potential health promotion interventions related to the needs of their patients, the community or their organisation. Other health professionals supported EDs taking a greater role in health promotion and suggested organisational partnerships that would assist in developing this.
Conclusion: There are numerous opportunities to enhance health promotion in EDs. With support, EDs could deliver comprehensive health promotion programs for patients, staff, and communities.