Hospital Atmospheres Can Have a Major Effect on Patients, Families and Staff Members

No one actually enjoys walking into a hospital because it usually means either you, or someone you know, is ill or injured. The hospital atmosphere can have major effects on the patients and staff.

 

According to Ulrich and Zimring, authors of the 2004 report, Role of the Physical Environment In The Hospital Of The 21st Century, one of the studies performed at a children’s hospital tested the effects the new therapeutically developed children’s center had on the patients and staff versus the old children’s center. The research showed that parents visited for an average of 30 additional minutes or longer each day and babies slept 20 percent longer in the new center.

The report mentioned above highlights more than 200 studies that prove hospital design and environment truly have an effect on patients, families and staff. While it may not be time to completely remodel your hospital, improvement in the following areas can have a positive effect on your patients and staff:

  • Design and layout of the hospital. Research shows that getting lost within a hospital is not only frustrating for patients and family, but is also a waste of clinical time. Showing someone in the correct direction takes time. This research shows that poor wayfaring cost over $200,000 annually, due to the extra 4,500 hours of clinical time spent a year.
  • Single patient rooms. Single patient rooms provide privacy but also prove a shorter length of stay. Single patient rooms allow infections to be controlled easier because they are not spread from patient to patient as easily.
  • Lighting. Like single patient rooms, natural light is linked to shorter hospital stays and a decrease in the use of pain medication. Natural light also allows the patient to be awarded of night and day differences while in their room.

These simple steps can also help increase HCAHPS. There are a lot of factors that play into the HCAHPS, like Communication with Nurses, Communication with Doctors, Pain Management, etc., but a large portion of the HCAHPS relies on “The Cleanliness of Hospital Environment and Quietness of Hospital Environment.”

It is important to keep the patient’s comfort in mind because being in the hospital already generates enough emotional stress. They are hospitalized for help and should feel comforted in the place they have to call their temporary homes.

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