The exemplary ED

In his talk, ‘Integrating evidence based practice, design, and technology into emergency department design,’ at the ACEM 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney later this month, FACEM Dr Keith Joe will be looking at the complexities of creating or refurbishing emergency departments and exploring how some of the more successful examples have been achieved.

‘In really outstanding EDs you often see that an evidence-based approach employed across the board,” Keith says. “That means not only utilising evidence-based practice, but also evidence-based design and evidence-based technology.”

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What does it mean?

Evidence-based design, he says, means drawing on data and case studies to successfully utilise colours, space, sound and lighting in order to create a healing environment.

“Evidence-based technology simply means technology that has been shown to have benefits and improvements, rather than just the latest biotech that a salesperson tries to sell you,” Keith says.

Drawing on research and best-practice examples to ensure these elements of the ED creation or refurbishment process reach a high standard is one of the things that marks out a truly exemplary emergency department, Keith says.

Sharing the news

But while many emergency departments are excelling in this regard, too few are talking about it.

“There’s a lot of great, ground-breaking projects out there but knowledge of them tends to be limited to the hospitals they’re happening in,” Keith says. “We need a methodology for sharing news of these successful projects.”

Keith believes an online resource needs to be created to host case studies of exemplary EDs and innovation and evidence related to ED design generally.

“Over the years, whenever I’ve been involved in redesigning an ED the first question people ask is, ‘Where can we look at examples of the ‘best’ EDs?’,” Keith says. “The problem is, there isn’t one single model and there isn’t one single resource. There isn’t even a forum where you can go to look at what best practice is, because it hasn’t been defined.”

“So the whole aim of my talk is to try and define what best practice is and then see if we can develop a website where this information can be shared and discussed.”

A compelling and interactive program

This year’s ASM will be held in Sydney from 19-23 November at the new Sydney International Conference Centre, and will focus on the themes of ‘Impossible is just a perspective’ and ‘Getting the balance right.’

The meeting will offer a compelling and interactive program, broad enough to cover the full gamut of emergency medicine, with a line-up of the most inspiring, entertaining and knowledgeable speakers in the emergency medicine world today. Each will be taking on the hard topics and exploring the nuanced discussion, plus cutting-edge research and novel ways to translate into practice.

Check out the program, latest news, registration details on the ASM website.