Objective: To evaluate the associations between real-time overall patient satisfaction and Emergency Department (ED) crowding as determined by patient percepton and crowding estimation tool score in a high-volume ED. Design: A prospective observational study. Setting: A tertiary acute hospital ED and a Level 1 trauma center. Participants: ED patients. Intervention(s): Crowding status was measured by two crowding tools [National Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (NEDOCS) and Severely overcrowded-Overcrowded-Not overcrowded Estimation Tool (SONET)] and patient perception of crowding surveys administered at discharge. Main outcome measure(s): ED crowding and patient real-time satisfaction. Results: From 29 November 2015 through 11 January 2016, we enrolled 1345 participants. We observed considerable agreement between the NEDOCS and SONET assessment of ED crowding (bias = 0.22; 95% limits of agreement (LOAs): -1.67, 2.12). However, agreement was more variable between patient perceptions of ED crowding with NEDOCS (bias = 0.62; 95% LOA: -5.85, 7.09) and SONET (bias = 0.40; 95% LOA: -5.81, 6.61). Compared to not overcrowded, there were overall inverse associations between ED overcrowding and patient satisfaction (Patient perception OR = 0.49, 95% confidence limit (CL): 0.38, 0.63; NEDOCS OR = 0.78, 95% CL: 0.65, 0.95; SONET OR = 0.82, 95% CL: 0.69, 0.98). Conclusions: While heterogeneity exists in the degree of agreement between objective and patient perceived assessments of ED crowding, in our study we observed that higher degrees of ED crowding at admission might be associated with lower real-time patient satisfaction.
- Emergency Department
- Patient perception
- Real-time patient satisfaction survey
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health