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Staff shortages and the overcrowded waiting room: Who is in the emergency room of a hospital and not seriously ill, you must expect to part with significant waiting times. Some seem to be able to accept: In many clinics in Germany, claims Doctors and nursing staff about angry and sometimes aggressive patients. How can the behavior or aggressive tendencies, at least, prevent?

A week in the hospital

Exclusive Measurement of a emergency room

This is the question that scientists are investigated by Dorit Efrat-Treister of the Israeli “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev”. The good news is that Aggressive tendencies can be reduced if patients are waiting information about the procedures and estimated times are provided get. It was however only for shorter and average waiting times.

The actual waiting time was longer than that in the information given – or took in a total of particularly long, so the aggressive tendencies of the informed patients were eventually greater than in those who did not receive wait time information. The study appeared in the journal “Plos One”.

“No understanding for the long wait”

Thomas Fleischmann, chief physician of the emergency Department of the “country clinic Rendsburg”, knows the problem from personal experience. He recently had treatments three emergencies in a row in the shock room, which lasted almost four hours. “After that, the patients in the waiting room, no understanding anymore for the long wait,” he said. He sees the results as confirmation of their own observations, information about expected waiting times can also increase aggressive tendencies.

Efrat-Treister and colleagues of the respondents in the first study, three weeks of 328 patients in the emergency Department of a large Israeli hospital. In the first and In the third week of the Waiting were not given any additional information. In the second week, they received a schedule with expected waiting times for different stations, for example, two hours for the results of blood tests. The researchers, the patients asked by means of questionnaires according to whether the processes and procedures – for example, when which is the Patient – to be fair and hold to their aggressive tendencies. For this, the researchers were yelling, among other things, a tendency to curse, insult the staff, or to ignore and in the process to intervene.

Hamburg Marienkrankenhaus

Staff in emergency departments are increasingly exposed to violence. A chief physician explained the reasons

Michael Wnning, head of the emergency Department of the Hamburg Marie hospital, speaks to the star about the reasons for the growing violence against hospital employees.

As a result, the aggressive tendencies increased, in the case of waiting time – Waiting not-too-surprising result. However, they were in the patients with the additional information initially lower than in patients without information. In the case of the Informed, they increased with time but faster and emerged, in particular, if the specified waiting time has been exceeded. Also, the waiting period played a role. The total residence time was five hours, so the informed patients on average had after about four hours, and greater aggressive tendencies than non-informed patients.

Built-In Time Buffer

The Hawthorne effect to exclude, started scientists a year later, a second study. As the Hawthorne effect, the phenomenon is known, that some people change their natural behavior, if you know that you are participating in a study. According to the results of the first study, the hospital had processes the patient information and the anticipated wait hours permanently. The researchers interviewed again 99 patients with the same questions as in the first study. Since the results were very similar, were the authors of the study the Hawthorne effect.

Basically, Germany is transferable, said Bernd Metzinger, Department of managing Director of the German hospital society. Information about procedures and wait times to be in this country in hospitals as part of the de-escalation strategy. The Rendsburg chief physician Thomas Fleischmann reported that its emergency room patients in the individual case, on the expected waiting times would be informed. However, the times included a safety buffer: If the laboratory values are after one to one and a half hours available, would be called the patient two hours.

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