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"Taking my teenager to Box Hill ED"

About: Box Hill Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

Actually I'm currently sitting in the ED waiting for my child to have an x-ray and thought it would be good to give you some feedback whilst we're here.

This is my first time to the new ED and it looks fantastic, but I was pretty surprised at the experience. Out of professional interest, I tend to watch closely how things run from a customer experience perspective, when I happen to be one.

Where to go first.

It was pretty clear where to start, because there was a big sign above the windows saying "Go here first", however it was in the middle of a big red bar that ran all the way across three windows, and after going to the person in the first window we found out that the triage nurse was the one in the second window, and we were directed to sit in the waiting room. I saw another person make the same mistake. I'm not sure if it is always the case that the middle window is the only one for triage, but if so, it really needs to be clearer that the other one is not triage.

No queue.

There seemed to be no way to queue. Apart from the people sitting at the triage window, there was only the waiting area, and no apparent way to know when or if you would be seen by triage. Fortunately we sat right in front of the triage window and were seen in due turn. After us however, arrived another couple, who were directed to sit down and wait, and then another two people arrived and, because they stood to wait at triage, were seen before the couple who sat patiently waiting. My understanding is that Triage is required to determine the priority of the patients based on many factors, but unless people actually get to speak to the triage nurse it can't be possible to know what priority to give them. I guess there may have been some hidden method I couldn't see, but even if so, from a customer point of view, clearly there was a major unknown here and when you are dealing with an emergency, the anxiety this kind of unknown can create can be quite disturbing. I could see that the couple near to us were being very patient but visibly disturbed that they were being passed by more recent arrivals. I would hate to see what it is like when there are a lot of people in the waiting area.

The triage station was like a bank teller.

This was a real surprise to me. I assume there must be times where the safety of the staff is at risk and so security screens are necessary, and perhaps to help with infection control, which requires such a glass wall. However, it just didn't seem like it was at all appropriate. In our case and for others while we waited, I was amazed to see the nurse making physical assessments over a desk and through the opening in the glass wall. In my opinion, leaning like that can't be good for OHS for starters, but from the other side, it takes some imagination to feel cared for. In our case, eventually the triage nurse had to go off to one side, through a security door, and then came out to us, to put on a sling.

That’s about all I have time to write, and I hope you can take the feedback not as a complaint, but some helpful info from the point of view of a customer. I would also like to add that the people were great, and all of the negatives were either process issues, or by design.

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Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 7 years ago
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 27/10/2016 at 3:10 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 4:51 PM

picture of David Plunkett

Dear food for thought

I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide your valuable insights into your experience. This is invaluable information and I take it in the intent you have indicated - to improve the services we provide.

I am really pleased to hear the staff were great and I trust the reason for coming to the Emergency Department in the first instance was dealt with and you were satisfied with this aspect of care.

I will provide your feedback to the Emergency Department and hospital leadership team so they can then determine what can be done to improve our systems, process or even physical environment. It’s through feedback such as yours that we are in fact able to improve the care and services we provide to our patients and families, so thank you again.

Food for thought, I hope your child is recovering well and any further experiences you have with our services are positive. As always would really welcome any further feedback.

Kind regards


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