ED Patient Care


No patient foresees the need to visit the Emergency Department (ED) for unexpected healthcare. Invariably, the journey to and through ED is anxiety provoking. Common questions include: What will happen during my ED visit? What am I waiting for? What’s my diagnosis?  What am I supposed to do after discharge? How can I prevent returning to the ED? Meanwhile, ED health professionals want to communicate better with patients and family to ease discomfort and anxiety, yet have limited time with each patient.Improving Patient Experiences in the Emergency Department banner


Approximately 80% of the 90,000 patients that visit Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) ED annually are discharged home. We need better resources and communication approaches to support them during their journey through the ED, to help patients and families retain the information and advice they receive in the ED, and to improve their ability to recover at home and access outpatient medical support after their ED visit.


Research Goals and Objectives

We propose to develop an app to enhance patient communication with healthcare teams during ED visits in lower mainland hospitals, including but not limited to the EDs at: Vancouver General Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, BC Children’s Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, and Eagle Ridge Hospital to start. The app will:

  • Guide patients during their journeys through an ED, including information to help alleviate wait time questions and frustrations
  • Gather and organize information about patients’ illness/condition to promote effective communication between patients and health professionals
  • Provide patients with information about their diagnoses, treatments received in the ED, and discharge instructions for patients and their family doctors
  • Help ED health professionals follow up with patients post discharge, e.g. for pending lab results or their progress after ED visits


Anticipated Outcomes

In addition to high patient impact and outcome improvement, this app will help shorten patients’ ED length of stay, improve patient satisfaction of their ED visit, and decrease unnecessary ED revisits, thereby capturing savings for EDs.


For more information, please contact Nooshin Jafari, Researcher, nooshin.jafari@ubc.ca