Objectives: The objective was to determine child caregiver satisfaction with a nontraditional pediatric emergency department (ED) venue during the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza outbreak.
Methods: Between May 1 and 7, 2009, the Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) ED used a six-bed outdoor facility, the Mobile Pediatric Emergency Response Team (MPERT), to evaluate patients with suspected novel H1N1 influenza. Parents and caregivers of patients evaluated in the MPERT were surveyed by telephone using a validated questionnaire to evaluate satisfaction with the facility.
Results: Of 353 patients, 155 caregivers (44%) completed questionnaires; 127 had wrong numbers, 71 did not answer, and 15 were on a no-call list. Survey responders felt that nurses and doctors explained concepts well (nurses 92%, doctors 94%), 91% felt TCH prepared them well for taking care of their children at home, 94% were satisfied with the medical care received, and 88% were not bothered by the outdoor setting. When asked to rate their MPERT experience on a scale of 0 (worst possible) to 10 (best possible), the median score was 9 (range 1 to 10).
Conclusions: The MPERT facility alleviated patient volume surge and potentially prevented transmission during H1N1 outbreak. While these were health care provider goals, caregiver expectations were also met. Caregivers perceived MPERT as an acceptable alternative to receiving care in the regular ED, felt that physicians and nurses communicated well, and felt that medical care was good to excellent. Use of the MPERT did not negatively affect overall caregiver satisfaction with TCH. These findings suggest that families of pediatric patients are amenable to nontraditional ED venues during periods of ED crowding.
© 2012 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.