Specialist Emergency Physician Dr. Brian Charles has been on a one week assignment to ensure the standards and the quality of care offered at the Emergency Department at Dominica China Friendship Hospital is top notch.

Dr. Charles says the Dominica Hospitals Authority is cognizant of the importance of the Emergency Department and the critical need for that department to offer high quality care.

“The majority of people are seeing the emergency department so this is a very good place to ensure that your standards and your quality of care is top notch. The emergency department is always the front door to your hospital and hence it must be working efficiently, the standard of care must be high and persons using the facility must be satisfied with the quality of care that is given at that facility,” Dr. Charles stated.  

The consultation is meant to ensure that the standard of service offered at the emergency department can be improved to a level that both staff and public will appreciate.

“That is my aim here, to do an evaluation of the operations, the management, patient flow, processes and protocols in the emergency department. That’s overall my aim: Dr. Charles explained.

As part of the exercise, Dr. Charles and his team have already interviewed Management, Staff and patients who use the facility.

“We have sat many hours with persons, spanning the entire structure, of the running of the emergency department to get their feel, to get their ideas, of how the department runs, what could be made better and where the deficiencies are.  And with these one-on-one interviews, we try to ensure that the respondents, the persons we are interviewing, understand that because they are saying this is what should be doesn’t mean that someone like myself, coming from the outside, is going to say that this should not be because persons working within the system they are the ones who have the best ideas of how the system should work for them,” he explained.

Dr. Charles and his team have had a front row seat at the Hospital getting a firsthand assessment of the day to day protocols and procedures.

“We are immersing ourselves within the department. We are going with patients; we are going from department to department seeing how the patients actually experience the medical care that is afforded to them in the emergency department. So for example we would have been outside with the covid testing; we went around to the minors unit; we went into the main part of the hospital; we even followed patients from the main part of the hospital into radiology. We looked at what happened if someone needs to be investigated for lab test and how soon they get back those tests and what happens while you are waiting on the tests. So we immersed ourselves into the patient flow so that we can see what happens there,” Dr. Briand further explained.

Dr. Charles and his team are also conducting data through a survey which will provide feedback from the public on the level of client satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service provided. The report coming out of this exercise will form the basis of recommendations to be presented to the administration.

He believes that the Dominica China Friendship Hospital is one which all of Dominica should be proud of.

“Dominica should be very proud because this facility is a good facility. It is absolutely world class, it is well equipped; there might be a few things we can adjust but having said that when you compare the emergency department here with some of the emergency departments in the Caribbean region, this one is way up top. When you are not exposed to what happens elsewhere, you think that what you have is not good enough and I will say that coming from outside and seeing other hospitals and other emergency departments, this one is good and it will get a lot better,” Dr. Charles added.