No one wants to stay in the hospital, but sometimes inpatient care is necessary. Fortunately, hospitals understand this and are increasing their focus on patient comfort. Whenever possible, care facilities are doing away with the uncomfortable (think exposed open-back gowns) and replacing it with more patient-friendly options. Here are four comfortable improvements you may notice during your next hospital stay.
Better Equipment Access
Gone are the days when isolation gowns, gauze pads and blood specimen tubes were relegated to the supply room. Instead, hospitals are now adding more cupboard and storage space to hospital rooms so that frequently used items are closer at hand.
This practice increases patient comfort by reducing the amount of time spent waiting for staff. A patient who requests a new toothbrush can now get one instantly rather than waiting for his nurse to run to the supply room. Busy nurses and staff are also less likely to forget requests as they can respond to them immediately.
The hospital can be a pretty boring place. Patients are more comfortable when they have ways to entertain themselves to combat boredom and take their mind off of any pain they are feeling. As a result, hospitals are taking advantage of interactive patient care applications.
Using televisions and tablets, these applications educate patients about their condition, provide free interactive games and grant patients access to Netflix and other media sources. Hospitals are also providing patients with free Wi-Fi access to make their stay more pleasant.
Anyone who has ever had a roommate knows how uncomfortable it can be. Hospital stays are no different. Putting two patients in a room is a common practice and one rife with potential annoyances. You may get housed with someone who turns their television volume up too loudly or snores like a freight train all night long.
It’s no surprise to find that patients repeatedly report preferring a private room to a shared one, and hospitals are making more of an effort to oblige. In addition, hospitals are adding more comfortable furniture such as reclining chairs to these private rooms. This makes it easier for visitors and family members to spend time with loved ones in the hospital and lets them stay overnight more restfully if desired.
A Softer Environment
Staff and administrators are now focusing on ways to make the environment inside hospitals more soothing. Great effort is being poured into designing and developing hospitals that are quieter and filled with softer lighting. While bright lights are still necessary for certain tasks, hospitals are now using LED technology to create softer lighting that reduces eye strain.
LED lighting can also mimic the sun, helping to soothe those who suffer from depression during the winter months when their exposure to sunlight is minimal. Hospitals that successfully create a softer, quieter environment for patients are able to keep them more comfortable and promote faster healing.
Of course, the number one resource hospitals need in their effort to improve patient comfort is a caring staff. Nurses and staff members who are willing to go above and beyond for patients have always had the ability to reduce patient stress and increase their ease. Great hiring choices along with the extras mentioned here go a long way toward making patients happy, relaxed and comfortable during their stay.
Of course, you can also make your stay more comfortable by advocating for yourself and requesting certain foods or asking for a fan to help you sleep. Whatever you need to make yourself feel at home, the odds are improving that your local hospital staff will be able to provide it.