Making hospitals more hospitable

A hospital stay can be a stressful and difficult time for patients and their families. A bad hospital stay can be a nightmare that lives in the minds of patients and families forever.

And with the surge in social media, patients now have more outlets than ever to vent.

While hospitals have traditionally, and understandably, focused on treatment statistics such as average length of stay or mortality rates, recent studies show patients and families are increasingly focusing more on the overall stay and less on procedures and recoveries.

“We found that patient demand correlates much better to amenities than quality of care,” Dr. John Romley, a research professor at the University of Southern California, is quoted as saying in a New York Times article recently.

In essence, redesigning to make hospitals more hospitable can improve both their reputation and bottom line in an ever-competitive field.

There are many ways to make hospitals more hospitable, friendly, welcoming and comfortable. It starts with redesigning with your patients and their families in mind.

All-in-one sleep sofa

1)  Better Furniture

A trip to the hospital often involves a lot of sitting, sleeping and even missed work for patients and their families. One way to help ease the stay is by making furniture more comfortable and versatile.

The above picture shows a great example of this type of thinking, and it’s a piece we feature in our healthcare showroom.

This all-in-one sleep sofa can also serve as a work area, a place to eat, has two seats that recline and can also fold into a bed. It’s also comfortable.

It illustrates how great thinking can impress your guests. It doesn’t take up much space but it’s comfortable and multi-faceted. For more great furniture ideas, check out http://www.wielandhealthcare.com.

hospitalstay2) Add warmth, entertainment, education

Give it some color: Make sure the walls are covered in warm, inviting color and vibrant art decorates the walls.

Entertainment: Make sure TVs and WiFi are available in each room. This takes away the boredom of a long stay and allows guests to stay up on both work and the world outside.

Open Areas: Whether it’s a walking track, a play area for kids or even a community area with flatscreen TVs, a good spot to get away without actually getting away is a fantastic idea.

Library: Some hospitals offer a Family Health Library to let patients and families learn about the illness they are battling. Empower the family by allowing them to research and learn.

Do-Not-Disturb3) A little privacy please?

Private rooms: Instead of doubling up, how about private rooms? This allows for full-size pull-out beds and plenty of storage to accommodate multiple family members overnight. Another great idea is private bathrooms with showers and tubs for small children.

Hospitality suites: How about a room with additional sleeping areas along with washers, dryers and kitchens? These allow patients and families the chance to rest and eat comfortably.

4) Beyond design

Hospitals may want to adopt policies that are already used in children’s care: Such as extended visiting hours, more family involvement during patient procedures and discussions with doctors and plenty of activities. These are standard practices in children’s hospitals but adults are often considered to have outgrown them.

However, a large study published in March 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that, “Having family members present during major procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had a positive effect on health outcomes, did not interfere with medical efforts, did not increase stress in the health care team and did not result in legal conflicts — overturning several long-standing assumptions.”

Mercer Health - ER Expansion

Do you have any examples of a great hospital stay you’ve had? What made it so fantastic? At Innovative Office Solutions we can help you design your hospital to be more hospital toward patients and guests. If you are interested in speaking with one of our Office Design Professionals feel free to contact us at 419-925-5433 or visit our showroom located at 8016 Industrial Drive, Maria Stein, Ohio. To book your appointment click here.

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