Engaging Patients with Smarter Hospital Rooms
Hospital rooms have long been inadequate when it comes to fulfilling their functions as a physical space. A mixture of a lack of technologies available and a lack thought into their design meant that they fell down when it comes to fulfilling the purposes of acting as a pastoral space for visiting friends and family and as a workspace for healthcare professionals. As attitudes to the design of the hospital rooms have changed, We now look to technology to help create smarter hospital rooms to improve patient care.
It’s estimated that the global smart hospital market will be worth in excess of $111 billion by 2026 as healthcare facilities continue to look for innovative ways to support their patients. As well as changing attitudes, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the burden healthcare services across the globe are under and has accelerated the adoption of new technologies.
As a result, decision makers are becoming more aware of the long-term benefits of utilising digital technologies within hospitals as they allow staff to monitor and communicate with patients without leaving their workstation.
The question is, what are smart hospital rooms, and what benefits do they offer?
Our healthcare system gets smarter
A smart hospital room can help nursing staff by responding to non-clinical patient requests via digital technology. It is also able to connect all aspects of their treatment together and make the information available to multiple departments improving the care that a hospital can provide.
Smart technology can also improve the patient experience away from treatment. No one enjoys being in a hospital bed, so anything that can make the experience more comfortable is vitally important.
A smart hospital room integrates a multitude of technologies, some of which we have detailed below:
Automation: Developing an automated system that allows patients to control their environment can aid their recovery and free staff up to focus on the more complex task of patient care. Whether it’s using a patient bedside medical PC to control comfort or to communicate with staff, it gives patients a role in their own care and recovery.
Real-time data: Nursing staff can utilise medical PCs to record medical notes and remove paper-based processes. This not only streamlines patient care but improves efficiency. A hospital’s top priority is delivering the highest level of patient care possible and having access to real-time data helps clinicians make quick, informed decisions that improve care.
Analytics: A by-product of having access to real-time data is the analytics it provides. Giving staff and NHS Trusts a full 360-degree view of patient care can only improve processes and help identify bottlenecks within a patient’s treatment pathway. As well as this, the data can also help inform budgets and reduce costs.
Connected systems: Creating a connected system that can communicate across multiple departments ensures patients receive the best possible treatment from the moment they first visit a GP to when they enter their hospital room. At every point of their journey, clinicians will be able instantly access medical notes which guarantees the best possible outcomes.
Interactive technology: Interactive technology such as self-service kiosks give patients the freedom to control room temperature, the angle of their bed or ordering medication can reduce stress levels and have a positive impact on their recovery.
Even before patients enter their ward or room having access to a self-service kiosk to access important information quickly or utilising digital signage to direct them to their destination is key to improving their stay.
How can Distec help improve patient experience?
At Distec we have extensive experience in delivering digital healthcare solutions from Elo Touch Solutions that are designed to help doctors and nurses cope with their demanding workloads. For example, our interactive touch screens can be used by a patient’s bedside to update medical records or share information about their treatment with another department, eliminating the need for paper trails or phone calls.
Medical Grade PCs can be installed to streamline operational efficiency, improve infection control and boost productivity, giving staff more freedom to focus on delivering the best possible care for their patients.
Smart hospitals are no longer a concept for the future, they are very much part of the now. Giving patients access to smart technology will not only improve their hospital experience but can play a significant role in their overall recovery.