PRH Evaluates Future Of Emergency Department Attendants

Pembroke’s hospital is evaluating the future of an experiment to help people deal with the waiting game in the emergency department.  

Two new patient service attendants have been working in the department, to help answer the questions of patients and families, liaise with medical staff, and help people stay on on top of what’s going on with wait times.

Hospital officials say the idea came directly from patient feedback and has so far involved two attendants who are there during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., with more hiring underway to find attendants for the weekend.

It’s a six-month pilot project that PRH officials say will be evaluated this spring.

“This trial is in direct response to patient feedback and the work of our Patient and Family Advisory Council who identified a gap in communications between the department and those waiting to be seen,” said PRH President and CEO Pierre Noel in a hospital news release.

PRH says the attendants not only “greet those arriving, but they assist patients with the triage process, and can provide refreshments, blankets and updates on wait times.

Emergency department manager Coralie Mackay said the idea is to help improve the patient experience.

“Our Patient Service Attendants are our liaison to the nursing staff in the department so they can provide accurate and timely updates about what is taking place in the department and help keep our patients comfortable while they wait,” said Mackay. 

She adds the decision on whether to continue the program will be based on public feedback and any effect is has on the patient and family experience.