Healthcare continues to evolve across a wide swath of important areas. Improving patient experiences is one of those that is important before, during, and after care. Each phase is an opportunity for providers to connect with their patients in ways that alleviate stress-levels and anxieties. There are simple changes that can easily be incorporated with existing processes. Here is a review of these strategies with rationale about their viability.
Navigating Hospital Corridors
A trip to the hospital is not the choice of any visitor. Difficulty finding the right department for a test or doctor’s appointment can be a very stressful journey. Hospitals have used traditional options such as an information desk with well-meaning staff that sometimes fall short on addressing this issue. Consideration should be given to signage that clearly directs patients at any location in the facility. This includes respite destinations such as the cafeteria and chapel. Using digital portals is ideal, as updates can easily be entered from a central dashboard.
Mitigating Patient Discharges
The best part of a hospital stay is when it is time to go home. However, waiting in the hospital room for discharge instructions and paperwork has a negative impact on much-needed resources. A special area can be created where patients can wait with family as the process unwinds. Each floor can be equipped with rooms that have comfortable seating, wireless internet, and telephone and television access. To conserve space, a triage area similar to the emergency room can offer the same results.
Patient QR codes
Preventing hospital errors are high on every providers list. Most errors are related to medications or lab results that are not flagged and lead to unintended patient harm. A helping hand is available with the trending resource of patient QR codes on wrist bands. It can impact one of the leading medical problems with a seemingly simple solution. With the continued focus on providing exceptional care for all patients, providers will find this alternative a winning solution. It has the potential to decrease death rates, longer hospital stays and the rising costs associated with them.
Patient Engagement Systems
On-boarding is a solution that continues to find useful applications across several industries. The hospital setting is one with a new virtual resource known as patient engagement systems. They use existing room televisions or facilities are investing in small mobile devices such as tablets. Patients can find a litany of information related to their condition, procedures, medications, and more. Feedback and contacting caregivers can be achieved real-time with time-stamped communications. Providers and patients alike will be empowered throughout the continuum of care.
Staying connect to Family and Friends
One of the contributing factors to hospital anxiety is isolation. Using technology to counter this obstacle has myriad benefits including the well-being of patients in the recovery process. Skype is an alternative that can seamlessly integrate with the current communications infrastructure. It has the capacity to involve family members that live in other areas or to interact with care while at work. Consultation rooms are another ideal location for using this mode of contact when providers need to reach loved ones.
There is no disputing that patient care is getting better. This is seen with shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times. However, the industry recognizes the need to continue to address nagging challenges with hospitalization. These five ideas can be a catalyst to achieve the over-arching goal of improving the patient experience.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.