The hospital room is one of the most important parts of a patient’s experience. It can make or break a hospital stay and even impact patient outcomes after surgery. It is essential to provide patients with the highest quality of care and comfort, based on their needs and preferences.
Smart hospitals are taking the lead on making patient rooms more comfortable, secure and connected with technology that improves efficiency for the healthcare staff and makes it easier for patients to communicate their needs with caregivers. The result is a patient-focused environment that enhances recovery and allows the patient to heal more quickly, recover better and get back to normal life faster.
Newer hospitals are designed to minimize patient transfers and handoffs, reducing the time and hassle associated with moving from one area of the hospital to another. Those changes are reflected in the design of patient rooms.
Safety features in patient rooms include doors that open wide to avoid stumbling hazards, lifts and other equipment to help patients move up or down the hall, and safe ways for patients to access their bathroom without impediments. Many hospitals have a nurse station in each room, allowing nurses to check in with patients and monitor their condition at all times.
Hospitals also design patient rooms with space for family members and loved ones to visit or stay overnight. This provides emotional support for the patient and encourages family to remain involved in a patient’s recovery.
Having family or friends in the room can help patients feel more engaged and less stressed. They can spend time talking with their caregivers, reading and engaging in conversation. They may want to listen to music or watch television, depending on their preferences.
Nursing staff can use a portable computer on a cart in each patient room to provide information and resources that patients and their families need, and to check up on them. It also allows them to have a consistent and easy way to access their medical records.
For instance, the nursing staff might be checking in with a patient about their medications or to answer questions. A laptop on a cart allows the staff to access a computer and send that information directly to the patient, so they can see their medications and treatment plan at all times.
It also allows family members to stay close by, increasing comfort for the patient and lowering the risk of error.
Having a family member or friend in the room can reduce stress for the patient and ease loneliness, which is often experienced by those in the hospital. A bed or a couch and chair can be used to accommodate a family member, if necessary.
Some hospitals also provide a hospitality snack cart, which volunteers push from room to room throughout the day for patients and their visitors to buy snacks, toiletries, magazines or other items they may need.
Hospitals must ensure that patient rooms are comfortable, safe and convenient for staff and that they are ready to use as soon as a patient is admitted. In addition, they must maintain an ongoing relationship with staff and provide them with the tools they need to perform their tasks efficiently.