An emergency department visit is often a highly stressful situation. That stress makes long waits longer, feelings of being ignored more prevalent, bad service worse.
Not often do people speak about a good experience at the E.D. Considering the circumstances, great service in the E.D. isn’t going to make anyone enjoy the visit by any means.
Bad service makes the experience awful—and worth sharing with others.
This Letter to the Editor outlines two bad experiences separated by several months. During the second visit “after about an hour of this unacceptable and potentially dangerous behavior” the party decided to leave the E.D. for another (read: a competitor) 25 miles away.
Admittedly, there are challenges when trying to improve E.D. experience.
However, improving patient experience is a must in the E.D. For many it is the introduction to a hospital. The environment is always hectic and always stressful. Improving that experience means managing patient expectations. It means making a concerted effort to sympathize with very ill patients (most do). Patient loyalty should not be taken for granted. A bad experience could mean potential patients avoid your organization—for all services.
(links h/t: Kevin MD)