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Putting Patients in Control: 4 Technology Tips to Create a Better Experience

Acute Care December 28, 2017

Walk through most any new healthcare facility, and it is readily apparent: these buildings are a far cry from the designs of our grandparents’ era. Architects, designers and technology providers are teaming with clinicians and facilities managers to create facilities that put the patient experience at their core.

“Patient experience is at the heart of healthcare,” notes Beryl Institute president Jason Wolf in a recent Modern Healthcare article. Making a patient’s hospital experience more consumer-like, in other words, with more control and options at their fingertips, is an important step toward improving that overall experience. Using technology innovations to give patients more control for a more comfortable stay, and at the same time, reduce administrative burden on often overtaxed clinical teams, is key. Here are a few ways to make your technology tools more effective in creating a better patient experience.

#1 Screen it

Hospitals that aren’t using their investment in televisions to do more than show local channels are missing a huge opportunity to engage, educate and empower patients. Innovative interactive solutions can be served up to patients, 24/7, on existing patient room televisions. Hospitals are supplementing those large mounted TV screens with tablets, and bedside touchscreen monitors, giving patients a choice of ways to view and interact with the information. Patients can view health education videos related to their diagnosis, tied directly to the electronic health record. They can even use an interpretive service – video conference enabled – to help with the language barrier between patient and practitioner.

#2 Hot, cold, just right

Using the interactive patient engagement capabilities on the television, tablet or touchscreen, patients can have control over the room environment as they would at a hotel or at home. Hot, or cold? Simply use the interactive solution to adjust room temperatures, or even lower the window shades. Need an extra blanket? Send a request through the system directly to housekeeping. No need to be dependent upon a nurse or aide to handle those routine requests, once again putting the patient in the driver’s seat, and freeing the clinical team to focus on patient care.

#3 Can I get some sleep?

Noise at night is one of the most common patient complaints. So why not use today’s interactive technology solutions to help patients get a more restful night’s sleep? Patients can fall asleep to soothing ambient noise videos, choosing the music and play length, with hallways noises no longer a bother.

#4 Room service, please

Distributing paper menus daily is costly, resource-intensive and, frankly, antiquated. More and more hospitals are using their interactive patient engagement systems to put room service menus online and make food options accessible around the clock, as patients and their guests desire. In addition, interactive feedback tools are giving the dietary team real-time feedback when patients are unsatisfied with delivery time, service or meal temperatures. Taking immediate steps toward service recovery is helping hospitals improve their patient satisfaction scores as well.

Interactive patient engagement solutions are a key component in the transformation to a patient-centered care environment. The result is happier patients who are better educated and engaged with their care, and ultimately have greater health outcomes.

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