Introduction: Patient-centred communication is vital to ensure a good patient experience in the emergency
department. Visits to the emergency department leave patients disillusioned regarding the communication
experienced and this increases patient dissatisfaction. There is a need to put the "patient" back in communication
in order to make it more patient-centred and provide the patient the opportunity to voice their individual needs
pertaining to patient-centred communication.
The aim of the study was to co-design patient-centred communication in an emergency department. In order to
reach the aim of the study the following objectives were set:
To explore current communication in an emergency department as experienced by patients and healthcare
To collaboratively co-design strategies to enhance patient-centred communication in an emergency
Research design and methods: An Experience-based Co-design has been used. Unstructured observation
was done to observe existing communication in the emergency department. Patients have told their stories
through narrative-based film interviews and healthcare professionals have been interviewed to share their
experiences regarding communication in the emergency department. The observation notes and interviews have
been shared during a Co-design event. Patients and healthcare professionals have collaboratively analysed the
data to identify key touch points and co-design strategies to enhance patient-centred communication in the
Results: Three (3) key touch points were identified namely; professionalism, communication and daily focus.
The patients and healthcare professionals were equal partners to change the communication culture in the
emergency department to be more patient-centred. This may lead to positive patients' experiences with an
increase in patient satisfaction.
Conclusion: The ultimate goal of this study was to raise awareness relating existing communication in the
emergency department and collaboratively plan strategies to work towards patient-centred communication.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2017.