5 Ways to Improve the Patient Experience in Healthcare Settings
1) Noise Hurts
A study conducted in 2016 found that doctors and nurses in hospitals were oblivious to the effect that noise was having on their patients, until it was a brought to their attention. Even outside of hospital settings, noise is shown to be an important factor in patient satisfaction in doctors offices and can deter patients from returning. One way to combat high noise levels in healthcare settings is to educate the staff on how noise can negatively impact their patients. Implementing noise monitoring devices and regular ‘quiet times’ is also shown to have positive outcomes for noise levels.
2) Natural Light is Healing
Natural light in healthcare settings is shown to have significant health benefits. Natural light can increase protein metabolism, decrease fatigue, stimulate white blood cell production, increase endorphin levels, and decrease blood pressure, as well as help to maintain overall emotional health.
3) Design and Decor Matter
The color of the walls, the amount of plants, even the art that is displayed in an office are shown to affect patient convalescence and satisfaction. Being attentive to light, wall colors, and interior landscaping can decrease patient stress levels and reduce post-operative healing time. One study found that color alone can affect a person’s nervous system, respiration, blood pressure, muscle tension, eye blinks and cortical activation. If natural elements are limited then displaying images of nature and of children at play are shown to be comforting to patients in healthcare settings.
4) Music Soothes
Music and sounds of nature (like of waterfalls or birds) have been shown to help deescalate patients in psychiatric crisis, improve depressive symptoms, assist with pain reduction, and decrease blood pressure. In addition to its healing qualities, giving patients options with the type of music they can listen to gives them a greater sense of control over their surroundings.
5) Comfort is Important
Perceived comfort in the medical environment is shown to make a difference in patients' overall healthcare experience, so seating and space arrangements are ideally comfortable and accessible for the patient. Many patients already feel uneasy about going to the doctor. One way to combat this issue is to provide them with comfortable, ergonomic seating options. This is shown to reduce patient anxiety and increase the overall quality of care at the facility.
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By Joey Natale
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