How to improve emergency care to adults discharged within 24 hours? Acute Care planning in Emergency departments (The ACE study): a protocol of a participatory design study

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Østervang, Christina
Lassen, Annmarie Touborg
Jensen, Charlotte Myhre
Coyne, Elisabeth
Dieperink, Karin Brochstedt
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INTRODUCTION: The development of acute symptoms or changes in diseases led to feelings of fear and vulnerability and the need for health professional support. Therefore, the care provided in the acute medical and surgical areas of the emergency department (ED) is highly important as it influences the confidence of patients and families in managing everyday life after discharge. There is an increase in short-episode (<24 hours) hospital admissions, related to demographic changes and a focus on outpatient care. Clear discharge information and inclusion in treatment decisions increase the patient's and family's ability to understand and manage health needs after discharge, reduces the risk of readmission. This study aims to identify the needs for ED care and develop a solution to improve outcomes of patients discharged within 24 hours of admission. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study comprises the three phases of a participatory design (PD). Phase 1 aims to understand and identify patient and family needs when discharged within 24 hours of admission. A qualitative observational study will be conducted in two different EDs, followed by 20 joint interviews with patients and their families. Four focus group interviews with healthcare professionals will provide understanding of the short pathways. Findings from phase 1 will inform phase 2, which aims to develop a solution to improve patient outcomes. Three workshops gathering relevant stakeholders are arranged in the design plus development of a solution with specific outcomes. The solution will be implemented and tested in phase 3. Here we report the study protocol of phase 1 and 2. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study is registered with the Danish Data Protection Agency (19/22672). Approval of the project has been granted by the Regional Committees on Health Research Ethics for Southern Denmark (S-20192000-111). Findings will be published in suitable international journals and disseminated through conferences.

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BMJ Open

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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accident & emergency medicine

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qualitative research

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Østervang, C; Lassen, AT; Jensen, CM; Coyne, E; Dieperink, KB, How to improve emergency care to adults discharged within 24 hours? Acute Care planning in Emergency departments (The ACE study): a protocol of a participatory design study., BMJ Open, 2020, 10 (12), pp. e041743