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UK design thinking aims to reduce violence in ER

Wired.co.UK, November 18, 2011
The Department of Health has commissioned a design team to come up with prototypes that aim to reduce violence and aggression against staff in accident and emergency departments in NHS hospitals. The year-long project, run by the Design Council, saw designers, psychologists and healthcare experts spend a lot of time observing patients and staff in hospitals to identify the influences and triggers of frustration and anxiety in normally calm patients or visitors. Violence in hospitals is a big problem -- in 2009/10 there were more than 150 physical assaults on staff per day -- a total of 56,718 -- in England alone. The team discovered that in many cases, patients and the people accompanying them become frustrated due to a lack of understanding of the system they are in and a lack of information at specific moments along the patient journey.