People needing medical care have numerous choices in today’s healthcare marketplace.
Therefore, you want your patients to have great experiences at your facility, because should they ever need care again, you want them to return.
And, since medical reimbursements are tied to patient satisfaction scores, you must make patient experience a priority.
How do you that?
While many factors influence patient satisfaction such as interactions with hospital staff and hospital policies and procedures, our focus in this post will be on improving the physical environment.
How to Improve Comfort & Patient Satisfaction In Your Hospital
Everyone wants to be comfortable, especially patients in a healthcare facility where they likely aren’t feeling their best or the nurses or doctors responsible for patient health.
Many – if not most – comfort complaints come from people being too hot or too cold.
It’s a common problem in buildings and the reason people go to great lengths to improve their comfort, such as running space heaters under their desks or blocking air flow through diffusers with rags. This behavior throws a building system out of balance and can lead to increased energy use.
Not the way to go!
One excellent way to avoid comfort complaints and maintain patient satisfaction is by regulating your heating and cooling systems with a building automation system, or BAS.
Not only does a BAS ensure that heating and cooling systems operate as they should, it also notifies maintenance personnel when a system is not working properly.
In many instances, a BAS reduces a hospital’s energy consumption by running systems only when needed. Energy saved equals dollars saved.
An example of BAS functionality is an operating room, where specific temperatures and humidity levels must be maintained consistently for patient health. A BAS communicates with building systems to ensure those parameters are met, recognizes any discrepancies, and notifies the right people when they occur.
Ventilation rates also play a role in patient comfort. The right mixture of indoor and outdoor air moved through a building aids in patient comfort and removes harmful microorganisms and unpleasant odors.
Hospitals, like other buildings, must meet specific ASHRAE requirements for ventilation rates, which can be found at the link below.
Click here to see ASHRAE 170 Ventilation of Health Care Facilities
Another environmental factor that affects patient care is noise.
Too much noise in a hospital can lead to sleep deprivation in patients, which can slow their ability to recover.
A number of noise-reduction tactics exist, such as changing human behavior by posting signs reminding people to keep their voices down. Other practices include diming lights, utilizing quieter equipment, and limiting overhead paging.
One additional area that influences patient satisfaction is cleanliness, especially since patients commonly associate it with safety and quality.
Improve your hospital’s cleanliness by asking the person in charge of cleaning to make visual inspections to see that the hospital has been cleaned properly. Consider also asking patients if their rooms have been cleaned to their satisfaction and if anything else can be done.
Since clean environments help in the calming process, hospitals may consider installing hand sanitizers near patient areas, removing excess clutter, and seeing that staff empties trash cans regularly.
And telling patients about the cleaning process helps them better understand and realize the value provided by hospital staff.
With so much riding on patient satisfaction, hospitals must make it a top priority.
And no area plays as big a role as the overall hospital environment.
Hospitals that focus on maintaining comfort levels, reducing excess noise, and enhancing cleanliness will make patients and staff happier and position themselves for continued success in the future.
Have comfort issues been plaguing your hospital? Is overall patient satisfaction not what you’d like? If you would like to discuss these questions in more detail with a building professional who has worked with many hospitals over the years, please contact Joe Reintjes at firstname.lastname@example.org or Curtis Winter at email@example.com. Or call 316-265-9655.
Knipp Services works with commercial and industrial building owners to lower operational expenses and increase building comfort. We provide services that enable owners to have high-performance buildings. “Making Buildings Better” sums up the mission statement of Knipp Services.