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The advent of the internet and increased reliance on technology has driven a change in social behavior. Consumers expect more, and they expect it now. Healthcare is no different. Patients are consumers of healthcare services, and they are demanding better services and improved experiences.
But the conflicting needs reduce expenses while improving patient satisfaction is pushing hospital operations to their limits. Most face slim, and sometimes even negative, operating margins. Hospitals need tools that can help them easily improve the patient experience without a major hit to their budget.
What do patients complain about?
According to a recent study on the top 10 patient complaints, sleep deprivation tops the list. Why are patients losing sleep? Clinicians come in to check vitals, draw blood, and administer medications. We can’t do much about that. These tasks are vital to patient care. But there are other sources contributing to sleepless nights, such as noise and discomfort. A patient may be uncomfortable because of their medical situation or they may be uncomfortable because of their surroundings. Think about it…they are in an unfamiliar environment, all control has been taken away from them, and they are in a vulnerable situation. Of course, they are going to be uncomfortable.
How to improve patient satisfaction
So, why not do what we can with the tools and systems already in place to put a smile on their faces and help them sleep better at night?
By integrating the hospital’s building management system (BMS) with the admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) system, patients can, upon registration, select the temperature for their room that is most comfortable for them. In addition, the patient can note whether they would like their window blinds opened or closed, and in hospitals with hue lighting, they could even select the lighting they prefer. Their preferences are entered into the ADT system and communicated through HL7 to the BMS, which automatically adjusts the room to the desired specifications.
You could event take it a step further by giving the patient direct control over their room environment through a patient room control mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. Patients will be thrilled to have some control back in their hands. With this level of clinical environment optimization, hospitals will benefit from improved patient satisfaction and HCAHPS (the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores will reflect that.
To learn how Schneider Electric can help you address your patient satisfaction challenges, visit our EcoStruxure for Healthcare website.