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Emergency Department 

Improve the experience of waiting in the emergency department (ED) for Ascension patients by providing 

frequent updates, setting clear expectations, and

reducing surprises.



My Involvement

14 months

My Contributions

Secondary Research,

On-site Research,

Solution Evaluation,

Design Development,


Pilot Program Planning


Aaron Ferber,

Adam Galea,

Aniela Chertavian,

Pam Nyberg,

Marilyn Frank,

Teal Gruebele,

Theresa Anantasomboon

Going to the Emergency Department (more commonly known as the emergency room/ER) can be a daunting experience. The journey is filled with uncertainties, including the duration of the visit. Hospitals cannot always control wait times or provide time estimates, but they can improve the waiting experience by enhancing communication.


Patients in the Emergency Department are currently exposed to inconsistent signage, graphics, and verbal communications. Improving the cohesiveness of these elements will help manage patient expectations more effectively.

On-site Research

11 EDs visited and studied across 2 states: Texas and Michigan

80+ hours of shadowing and observational research.

Understanding Processes

Making sense of the complexity of the emergency department by making

journey maps, process maps, service blueprints, and spatial flow diagrams.

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Doing continuous research on what solutions individual Ascension hospitals or Ascension national has used or created throughout the years including new endeavors already in development.

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Doing continuous research on what other health systems have done, existing vendors for solutions, and published research  on subjects related to the project.

Prototype Development & Testing

Over two dozen communication mediums and concepts were considered.

A select set of concepts were iteratively prototyped over five rounds,

with feedback from 62 patients and 59 ER staff.

one of the most promising solutions was a functional prototype of a lightweight web-based app for patients to use as a companion while in the ED.

One solution from this body of work was launched,

showing a 22 point increase in the Wait dimension of NPS 

for participating EDs.

Another solution is currently undergoing a build or buy evaluation of $25 million.

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