Communication in Hong Kong accident and emergency departments: The clinicians’ perspectives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 2015, 2015 pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
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© The Author(s) 2015. In this article, we report findings from the first qualitatively driven study of patient–clinician communication in Hong Kong Accident and Emergency Departments (AEDs). In light of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority’s policy emphasis on patientcentered care and communication in the public hospitals it oversees, we analyze clinicians’ perceptions of the role and relevance of patient-centered communication strategies in emergency care. Although aware of the importance of effective communication in emergency care, participants discussed how this was frequently jeopardized by chronic understaffing, patient loads, and time pressures. This was raised in relation to the absence of spoken interdisciplinary handovers, the tendency to downgrade interpersonal communication with patients, and the decline in staff attendance at communication training courses. Participants’ frequent descriptions of patient-centered communication as dispensable from, and timeburdensome in, AEDs highlight a discrepancy between the stated Hong Kong Hospital Authority policy of patient-centered care and the reality of contemporary Hong Kong emergency practice.
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