Issue 3 : Stress Reduction

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Problem Statement:

Impacts of stress and stress related illness in the emergency room is an issue of high concern. It has been researched that a good number of the nurses, doctors and the family members of admitted patients in the ER are prone to stress related illness.

Discussion:

Our team addressed some of the main causes of stress and explored some of the best practices used in certain hospitals to overcome it. They are:

  • Improper communication between nurses, physicians, patients and family members of patients.

-> If the communication between those involved is not proper, it creates a direct impact on the belief, trust and anxiety levels which are primary reasons for stress.

  • Noise

-> ERs are always noisy and chaotic. This is another cause for stress. Many hospitals have designed noise proof rooms and others have incorporated the usage of white noise to get over the situation.

  • Privacy

-> Lack of privacy for some patients/families may induce stress. Lack of privacy for staff, nurses and doctors can also make them irritated and can have direct impact on their performance. There has been an interesting research which concluded that the doctors in an ER get interrupted approximately 7 times during their rounds of check up where as the other doctors get interrupted only 2 times. Some hospitals have retreat zone for nurses/docs for them to be away from the traumatic experiences in ER.

  • Morale

-> The general morale in an ER is generally low which can get worse when witnessing/handling traumatic cases. To generally keep up the morale of people, some big hospitals have employed ER ambassadors/ advocates whose job is to go around and make people comfortable.

Related Work/ Useful Links:

Stress reduction for family members of emergency room patients

Stress among doctors and nurses in the emergency department of a general hospital

Metrics:

  • Patient satisfaction
  • Happy staff (through interviewing them/ survey after implementing the new system)