Project Profile

Open Space

Every year, more than 115 million patients enter emergency rooms (ER) at hospitals around the U.S. More than three-quarters of them leave with an impression of what happened – or what should happen next – that doesn’t match what their emergency care team would want [1]. Too often, patients experience long wait times during periods between treatment and while waiting for discharge. This experience is often described as wasteful or boring and is not adequatuely used or valued by healthcare proiders.

Due to the severe circumstances in which an ER typically operates (i.e. long waiting times, lack of staff and inefficient processes), patients are often inadequately informed and unaware of their condition and corresponding treatment. This creates a sense of discomfort and, more importantly, may result in complications upon leaving the ER. without treatment.

These situations clearly indicate that ER teams need a better way of making sure patients understand their condition in the ER, provide better communication and actiities for potinets during wait times, and improve educational information before patients go home. In order to facilitate communication between patient and healthcare provider, the ER should take advantage of Information Technologies (IT) that focus on and shape the patient experience from entrance to exit. Open Space is an interface that helps to achieve that objective by providing the patient with tools for health education, current news concerning their care, and entertainment at times that are available when they need a break from the boredom.