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Improving Communication in the Emergency Department through the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers. Mary Dunworth R.GN. R.M. Patient Liaison Officer James Connolly Memorial Hospital Blanchardstown Dublin 15 28 May 2004. Background. Initiative developed as a response to

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Improving Communication in the Emergency Department through the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Mary Dunworth R.GN. R.M.

Patient Liaison Officer

James Connolly Memorial Hospital

Blanchardstown Dublin 15

28 May 2004


Background l.jpg
Background the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Initiative developed as a response to

  • Increasing delays in the Emergency Department

  • Increased activity levels

  • Bed shortages

  • Difficulties in keeping patients informed of their proposed treatment plans


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Objectives the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • To achieve excellent communication with patients and their relatives

  • To provide patients and their relatives with accurate and timely information

  • To respond proactively to complaints and other concerns

  • To facilitate communication between the patient and other team members


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The Role the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • Commenced in June 2002

  • There are currently three Patient Liaison Officers

  • All are experienced emergency nurses

  • Available from 09.30hrs-22.15hrs, 7days per week


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Clinical Background the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Previous emergency nursing experience/clinical background has proved very beneficial as it:

  • Provides an increased understanding of the functioning of the ED

  • Facilitates interaction with other inter-disciplinary teams

  • Aids in imparting clinical information in a language easily understood


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Since the introduction of the role in 2002, there has been a significant decrease in patient complaints to the ED

Anecdotal evidence would also suggest an increase in the rate of patient satisfaction


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • Substantial increase in the number of relatives witnessing resuscitative attempts

  • Instrumental in “breaking bad news”

  • Dealing with bereaved relatives of patients who die in the dept or are dead on arrival, comforting, and advising of events to follow e.g.,post mortem


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • Documentation process being refined to reduce volume of paperwork

  • Audit tool being developed to quantify performance of service

  • Patient audit to commence June 2004

  • Staff audit completed


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

During the first six month period of 2003,

46% of patients who presented to the ED were seen by a Patient Liaison Officer.


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Presenting triage categories and patients seen by the Patient Liaison Officer in the first six months of 2003


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

During the first five month period of 2004 25% of patients who presented to the ED were seen by a Patient Liaison Officer


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

During the twelve month period of 2003

40% of patients who presented to the ED were seen by a Patient Liaison Officer


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Evaluation the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

Presenting triage categories of patients registered from 09.30 hrs to 22.15hrs that were seen by the Patient Liaison Officer


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Results of Staff Audit the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • 80 questionnaires were distributed

  • 44 were returned completed = 55%

  • Results still being collated


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Future Development of the Patient Liaison Service the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers

  • Extension of hours of service

  • More Patient Liaison Officers


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Questions the introduction of Patient Liaison Officers