How Hospitals Can Improve Patient Comfort?
Hospital admission for most patients sounds like a nightmare mostly because of the numerous medical procedures and medication they have to take along with being surrounded by ailing people.
However, if hospitals took the time to ensure that patients were comfortable perhaps this would not be the case.
So, what can hospitals do to ensure that patients remain comfortable throughout their stay? Here are a few tips that could be of use.
1. Explain Procedures
You would think that comfort is all about ergonomics and furniture, but the truth is that the first thing that needs to be done to improve patient comfort in a hospital setting has nothing to do with that.
Rather, it has to do with medical practitioners explaining procedures in detail to their patients.
You see, patients are almost always anxious about their diagnosis in this era of the internet where they may have already googled their symptoms.
As such, it is important for physicians to explain everything, to help them relax.
In the process of explaining, the physician should also stop frequently to find out if the patient has any questions since they may be too shy or nervous to bring them up.
2. Regular Room Checks
Most hospitals have a call light that patients can use to let the staff there know that they need attention. The call lights often come in the form of bedside buttons that signal the nursing station.
However, some patients will misuse the call lights to signal for attention for minor things that do not require medical staff attention. Others will not use them at all even if they are in dire need.
To counter that, hospital staff need to check patient rooms regularly.
This ensures that patients who need something and are not able to use the call lights are catered to and those who misuse it don’t feel the need to press the buttons unnecessarily because the medical staff will come in often.
3. Check Air Quality and Temperature
When a room is too hot or cold, patients in hospital rooms can be extremely uncomfortable. Nobody wants to be constantly shivering or feeling sticky from the humidity around them.
You also want to keep in mind that patients cannot easily change their clothing or grab a blanket.
In that regard, medical staff should regularly check room temperatures to increase patient comfort. Another thing that needs to be checked on is the quality of air in patient rooms.
Air filters and dehumidifiers can be used to improve the air quality in hospital rooms especially for patients who suffer from allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma.
4. Elucidate Bed Adjustments
We all know that hospital beds are not the same as the ones at home and laying on a hospital bed is not as comfortable as laying in your bed at home.
Fortunately, hospital beds come with different settings that allow patients to lay down, incline, or sit up whenever they feel like it.
The only problem here is that the patient probably doesn’t know how to control and adjust their hospital bed. It would therefore be great if the medical staff at the hospital explained and demonstrated that to them.
When patients learn how to adjust their beds, they have more control over what feels comfortable.
5. Encourage Inpatient Activity
Since we are talking about beds, think of how you get out of bed when you wake up. It usually takes several minutes for your muscles to adjust after hours of laying down.
Now imagine being in a hospital bed for days, weeks, or even months.
It may be comfortable at the beginning, but staying in one position for a long time can cause discomfort and a reduction in muscle mass which can then lead to bedsores.
Bedsores are typically ulcers that appear on the skin when it is under too much pressure from laying down or sitting in the same position for a long time.
Of course, mobility can help increase comfort. Some patients are immobile and cannot change positions for themselves and that is where the medical staff at hospitals come in.
By coming into patient rooms regularly to turn them over or helping them engage in a bit of physical activity, they help boost comfort levels.
Besides the medication and medical care that patients get at hospitals, it is also paramount that they remain comfortable throughout their stay there. Hospitals and medical staff have a huge role to play when it comes to guaranteeing that.