How Hospitals Can Enhance the Hospital Room

The hospital room is a place that has to function for a number of purposes. It must be comfortable and calming for patients, it needs to allow for staff to move throughout the room quickly and efficiently and it must be able to accommodate family members and visitors. This is a tall order for any space. Fortunately, healthcare architects and designers can take some simple steps to make the patient experience better, which in turn, can help speed up recovery.

As the first part of a holistic approach to care, it is important that hospitals consider the environment and design an experience that supports patient and visitor comfort. This is often referred to as patient-centered care and it should be the foundation of any design solution. The way that the room is laid out has a direct impact on the experience and how well a patient heals.

While patient rooms may need to comply with HIPAA regulations and have specific safety features, there are also a number of ways to provide a more pleasant experience for patients and visitors. In addition to the standard equipment like bedside monitors, televisions, and a nurse call button, incorporating some simple amenities can help enhance the experience.

For example, providing a fold-out chair or cot for family and friends to sleep overnight in the room can be helpful. Similarly, having a hospitality snack cart that is pushed to the rooms during the day can be great for guests who want some light snacks or toiletries.

Another important aspect of the patient room is privacy and security. Providing a door alarm that can be turned on or off by patients and/or their families is an easy and effective way to improve patient satisfaction. Additionally, a locked closet or other secure area where personal belongings can be stored can help patients feel more at home while in the hospital.

In some cases, a patient will share a room with a roommate. While this is a necessity in terms of safety, it can be difficult for patients who are feeling sick and vulnerable. By making sure that there are options to connect with other patients in a common area, such as a seating lounge or even the cafeteria, it is possible to reduce the stress of sharing a room.

Hospitals can also enhance the patient room by adding decorative elements that can celebrate special occasions. Whether it’s a small Christmas tree, menorah for Hanukkah or handmade birthday decorations, these can create a more welcoming atmosphere in the room and make a big difference to those who are experiencing a tough time during their hospital stay.

Lastly, reducing the ambient noise in the room can also be an easy fix. By using a white noise machine, it is easier for patients to relax and focus on healing. This also helps to reduce the amount of distraction from beeping machines, hallway chatter and other noisy interruptions.

The bottom line is that hospital rooms have to be functional for the safety of patients and staff. However, the patient experience should not be compromised by these necessities. By working with technology partners, such as SONIFI Health, hospitals can incorporate solutions that not only meet patient needs but also improve the overall experience in the hospital.