RCEM surveys on specific issues can be found on this page. Surveys from other organisations can be published here with the approval of the College Executive. If you would like your survey to be advertised here, please read this guidance and e-mail your request to

Currently running surveys:

1. RCEM Electronic Health Record Usability Survey

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Emergency Department IT systems has come under scrutiny following changes associated with the Emergency Care Data Set. It is notable that some systems and departments have had an easier transition than others. There is significant variation in the types of electronic health record (EHR) implemented. Some sites are completely paperless with all ED processes including documentation, investigation requests and prescribing performed in the EHR, some sites are almost entirely paper-based, but most somewhere in between. The implementation of systems provided by the same supplier has also been inconsistent, with different sites asking for the same functionality in the same system but being given two different versions.

The large volume of patients accessing Urgent and Emergency Care together with the data capture requirements has put a significant burden on clinicians and clerical staff, which can be mitigated by good system design.

A system with poor usability can represent a threat to patient safety, for instance in the context of poor interoperability when one system cannot ‘talk to’ another and critical health information is lost. A system with poor usability can also be a contributing factor to unfulfilling work life and consequent burn-out.1,2 Conversely a system that is easy to use helps make work being meaningful to staff.3 This can be seen in the disparity of the enjoyment people get from using a highly usable system such as a modern smartphone, and system with poor usability.

This survey is the first phase in a national quality improvement project developed by the RCEM Informatics Committee that will quantify front end users’ experience of IT systems. We will compare different systems and compare the same systems at different sites. We will use this information to create guidance for ED IT system implementation at a national level.

The assessment of usability is based on a modified version of the System Usability Scale (SUS).4 The SUS is a well-proven tool for measuring the usability. It consists of 10 questions, each with five response options from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree.



1.            Dyrbye LN, Burke SE, Hardeman RR, et al. Association of Clinical Specialty With Symptoms of Burnout and Career Choice Regret Among US Resident Physicians. Jama. 2018;320(11):1114-1130.

2.            Lee TH, Mylod DE. Deconstructing Burnout to Define a Positive Path Forward. JAMA Intern Med. 2019.

3.            Ashton M. Getting Rid of Stupid Stuff. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(19):1789-1791.

4.            System Usability Scale. Accessed 06/03/2019, 2019.

2. RCEM Urgent Treatment Centre Survey

Deadline: 11 October 2019

RCEM is attempting to obtain a national picture regarding the prevalence and distribution of Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) across the UK.  

The purpose of this survey is to build a picture of to what extent these UTCs (or their nearest equivalent) have been established and their interaction with, and impact on, the Emergency Department. 

Please complete one survey for each ED, rather than one per Trust.  Your assistance with this is extremely welcome and we will be publishing the results once collated. Thank you for taking the time to give us your views.

What is a UTC?
In England UTCs are defined as primary care led facilities with at least 12 hours of opening, 7 day service, access to investigations, and ability to access booked appointments. We understand that similar services exist or are being developed in the devolved nations and may be known by different names. Where we ask about UTCs, please include services that you recognise as meeting this criteria even if they are known by other names.

The stated aim in England is to standardise the health care services provided by the myriad of differently branded urgent care services such as minor injuries units, walk in centres etc. 

3. RCEM Security in EDs Survey

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Anecdotally, emergency departments (EDs) are increasingly having to manage violent, aggressive or agitated patients. In addition, EDs must prevent patients from absconding when they are deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Are you aware of the Webley case? In Webley v. St. George’s Hospital NHS Trust & Anor, (14 Feb, 2014), the acute trust was held liable for the serious injuries sustained by a mental health patient who absconded from the ED. For more information about this case, click here.

RCEM is concerned about the variability of provision and standards of security in circumstances where patients may require restraint and we want to find out more about the national picture. We plan to work with NHSE and bodies in devolved nations to improve this.

We want to hear your views and experiences. Please complete this survey to help us get a clearer picture of how security risks and services operate in your emergency department.

All information received will be anonymised.

4. The Use of Surface Anatomy in Emergency Interventional Procedures

This survey is designed to capture your experiences with using surface anatomy in practice.
  Surface anatomy is the anatomy you can locate via the surface of the body using observation, palpation and reference landmarks. Your experiences using, or observing the use of, surface anatomy when performing a cricothyroidotomy, thoracostomy and/or thoracotomy will be explored.


The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.


Analysis of the information you provide will help us to evaluate how, what, and why surface anatomy is used in practice and will allow us to explore your perceptions of the importance of surface anatomy. All data will be anonymous. If you would like any further information or have any concerns or queries, please contact Dr Erin Fillmore (Lead researcher):

5. SAS doctors in Emergency Medicine

Deadline: 23 December 2019

The HEE National Urgent and Emergency Care and Paramedic Workforce Programme is launching a survey aimed at SAS doctors in the Emergency Department, focused on promoting the SAS grade as a sustainable and satisfying career choice.Our aim is to understand why doctors take up SAS posts, the challenges which affect SAS career progression and insights as to how we may support recruitment, training and development. We intend for this data to guide our future commissioning decisions.