The patient experience in emergency departments: a review of the literature

Accid Emerg Nurs. 2004 Jul;12(3):159-65. doi: 10.1016/j.aaen.2004.04.001.


This paper analyses the literature on the patient experience within emergency departments. We identify six themes within the literature: waiting times, communication, cultural aspects of care, pain, the environment and dilemmas in accessing the patient experience. Overall, the literature has a North American bias and is largely quantitative in approach. Although levels of patient satisfaction are high, a number of issues arise within the review, which suggest areas where quality of care could improve. We also identify the problematic nature of accessing the patient experience and suggest future areas for researchers to explore.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Emergency Nursing
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Global Health
  • Health Facility Environment
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pain Management
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research
  • Waiting Lists