I’ve been involved in the design of a lot of Emergency Departments. The saddest thing I see, is a bright and shiny new emergency department is opened and people realise really quickly, that it doesn’t work. I get asked to help fix it, but it’s a bit late at this point.

If you can, when you are designing a new department or refurbishing an old department, spend the time, to think about how each part will work and the relationship of each parts. If you can, spend a little bit more and hire an expert. You’d  be surprised at where you can find that expert. It may be someone amongst you.

Remember this, a poorly designed emergency department will be made to work, by the determination of its staff always, but at what cost to this staff? You will be amazed at how it affects staff satisfaction, patient satisfaction and can go as far as affecting staff recruitment and retention.

Peter Kas