“How to” perform a Wellness Needs Analysis in your ED


Every Emergency Department (ED) is different – size, location, rostering, unit specific issues as well as existing wellbeing strategies can vary greatly from one ED to another.

Identifying the unique wellness- and performance- related needs in your ED can seem an onerous task.  As the saying goes though, you don’t know what you don’t know!

The Wellness Needs Analysis is a key starting point for a wellbeing strategy for your ED for number of reasons. It will allow you to find out what the gaps are. It will help facilitate early plans as to how you will address the needs specific to your ED. Perhaps more importantly, by asking your staff what they think are the issues and opportunities, you will engage them early.  This will help you optimise early buy in for your Wellness Interest Group (WIG) plans.

So, in this ‘How To’, we will provide you with a step wise process to identify your ‘Wellness Needs Analysis’ and also provide you with survey example.

 Step Wise Guide

  1. Formulate the questions
    • See a suggested survey example outlined below
    • Many ED staff have ‘Survey Fatigue’
      • Keep the questions succinct
      • Keep the time frame in which to fill it short

Send a reminder!

  1. Collect the data
    1. At WRaP EM, a number of us have used Survey Monkey (SurveyMonkey Inc., San Mateo, California, USA, http://www.surveymonkey.com) but as a means to collect survey data but you can use any interface you like
    2. Other options are a suggestions box where staff can anonymously identify wellness related issues and offer suggestions for future initiatives, or a focus group where ideas are shared and collated from a group discussion.
  1. Collate the results
    1. Be prepared to be surprised
      • There may be expected patterns like rostering or access to leave, and these should be fed back to the existing stakeholders for consideration.
      • However, there may be unexpected issues that arise that may assist in developing a future focus for action.
    2. Decide how this information can translate into action
      • At QE II ED, one quick win was the suggestion of a large jar of quick oats in the staff tea room. Now, no matter what time of day it is, staff can make a quick nutritious snack. It is a much loved permanent part of their tea room now!
      • At another hospital, this involved a lobby to executive about after-hours carpark access for junior doctors, which was quickly resolved.
  1. Have a meeting with your WIG to discuss the gaps identified
    • Though some Departmental and Organisational gaps may take months or years to fill, sometimes little wins are all you need to maintain momentum.
    • Aim to focus on a few small areas initially to build momentum (and get a few easy wins for your team) then make a longer term strategic plan about how to approach the more challenging issues.

Survey Example

What is your role in our Department ?
Doctor, Nurse, Allied Health, Administration, Other (specify)
What are the most important health issues for you in the QEII ED Wellbeing Survey?
Physical Activity/Exercise
Social Wellbeing
Emotional Wellbeing / Mental health
Alcohol (awareness)
Free text – max 200 characters
Do you think any of the following have an impact upon your ability to perform your daily work in the QEII ED?
Sleep quality
Level of access to healthy food / nutrition
Rostering schedule

What health and wellbeing activities would you be interested in?

Info on healthy eating – email
More fresh fruit and veg available at work
Themed Staff lunches – “what’s in your lunch box?” days
Gluten/lactose/sugar free options at work
Info on healthy physical activity – email
Subsidised membership to local gym facilities
On site events to support physical activities – yoga, boxing
Smoking Cessation
Smoking cessation advice – email
Smoking cessation – Bulletin board
Info on free counselling/ psychology services – email
Info on free counselling/psychology services – bulletin board
Events at work
Access to work place health checks
Access to more social events/team building exercises
Free text
Limit 200 words
What time would you like these activities to occur?
06.00 – 10.00
10.00 – 16.00
16.00 -20.00
How frequent would you like these activities to occur?
We value your opinion. Do you have any other comments or suggestions that could help make our Department a healthier workplace?
Free text.
Limit 100 words.