Making the grade:
Three tech-savvy ways to improve the patient experience

In today’s world, technology evolves rapidly and patients expect to see the same technological conveniences in their healthcare facility as they do in their daily lives. For healthcare facilities, embracing the latest technology trends can help them become better patient environments.

While technological advancements are often adopted quickly in a care delivery or clinical setting, the same may not be true when it comes to accommodating a patient’s overall comfort level. For example, something as simple as providing complimentary Wi-Fi in healthcare facilities allows patients to keep their relatives and places of work informed of their condition. In our always-on world, investing in these “perks” is becoming critical to patients’ well-being. Hospitals can also use these tools to operate more efficiently.

Here are three ways to improve patient experiences in a healthcare facility that are also on the cutting edge of technology:

  1. Equip patients with technology that empowers their safety and advocacy.1

    The Internet has allowed people access to more medical information and knowledge than ever before. In fact, healthcare providers are now encouraging patients to learn more and manage their own health in an effort to keep them active, informed and satisfied in their care. “Electronic patient-centered communication” is designed to do just that. Patients don’t have to sit around and wait for medical care when they could be actively engaged and learning about their illnesses. Providing flat-screen televisions in waiting areas where they can learn more about their conditions, or hand-held electronic devices that allow them to research and learn more while waiting for results. Doing so nurtures a culture of honest, open conversations with healthcare providers, and also the ability to share information the provider may not have considered previously. It’s effective—and by allowing patients more control over their medical data, they are more likely to encounter a positive experience with their healthcare facilities.

  2. Improve a patient’s environment with intelligent washrooms.

    A clean, well-designed washroom speaks volumes about the hygiene practices of a healthcare facility. So why not deliver on it with technological improvements that will keep washrooms operating smoothly and efficiently? For example, the Tork® EasyCubeTM smart-washroom solution is designed to connect cleaning staff with real-time washroom data so they can stay a step ahead in washroom maintenance. This simple device is changing the way washrooms operate everywhere. It not only allows cleaning staff to ensure washrooms are well stocked and clean for patients and visitors, but also helps them see trends and plan better so they’re not just on static cleaning schedules and are instead providing cleaning services more effectively. In turn, improved and consistent washroom services will exceed patient expectations and satisfaction, while at the same time reducing the risk of cross-contamination throughout the healthcare facility.

  3. Arm nurses with mobile devices that enhance a patient’s quality of care.

    As the primary caregivers in healthcare facilities, nurses need to be equipped with the right tools to do what they do best: spend more time providing care for their patients and less time doing paper work. Mobile technology enables Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)2 of patients to be readily available for nurses and other healthcare providers, so they don’t have to push around carts of paper-based information or large computers. Now they can just as easily bring along their smartphones, laptops and tablets, all hooked up to a secure Wi-Fi network, to access patient information faster and in a timely manner so they can deliver the highest quality of patient care. Making these necessary technological advancements and more are key to improving experiences at healthcare facilities.

Sources:

1. Cassano, Christine, (2014), The Right Balance—Technology and Patient Care. Retrieved from http://www.himss.org/ResourceLibrary/GenResourceDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=33541

2. Hankin, J., (2015), Mobile technology helps nurses to deliver improved patient care. Retrieved from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/health/blogs/mobile-technology-helps-nurses-to-deliver-improved-patient-care/default.aspx#fbid=zMniLE1qOi-