Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , January 18, 2012

All patient rooms in Children's Hospital Colorado in the Denver metro area are private and feature full-size pull-out beds and storage room to accommodate two family members overnight. Rooms also include a private bathroom with a shower, and some even include tubs for bathing small children.

The large, single-patient rooms at Ohio's Dublin Methodist Hospital include ample family space and were designed to reduce noise, increase privacy, and support family presence in the care-giving process. Sound-absorbing ceiling tiles and flooring have been installed throughout the nursing unit and in common areas, in an effort to reduce noise and enhance privacy. Hospital leaders also decided to eliminate overhead paging to try to keep noise levels low.

If your organization isn't in a position to make all rooms private or install sound-absorbing tiles throughout, there are still several takeaways here. Go the extra mile to make patient family members comfortable, whether that means purchasing futons, providing blankets, or simply asking nursing staff to check in on them every once in a while.

And it’s always a good time to reevaluate patient privacy and noise levels. If your organization regularly uses overhead pages, it may be time to take steps to eliminate that communication method. If you can't install sound-absorbing tiles everywhere, perhaps you can afford them in key areas. Alternatively, you could install white-noise machines in especially loud areas to improve noise levels and improve privacy.


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2 comments on "Giving Every Patient the Beyoncé Experience"

Betsy Block (1/19/2012 at 11:08 AM)
I am proud to say that Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, just west of Denver,CO has it all. Patients remark, "It feels more like a hotel than a hospital." The luxurious atmosphere of the newly built women's center includes private suites, flat-screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, wifi, a serenity spa for relaxation and massage, and an outdoor patio with mountain views. The patient experience is top-notch as noted by their high patient satisfaction scores and a recent award from a women's watchdog group.

Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA (1/18/2012 at 6:33 PM)
Marianne, This article brings up the important balance between the environment including all the amenities you mention and the human experience. As a former OB nurse, I can tell you that even though the amenities and the room are nice touches, the things that patients will remember forever are the human interactions that made them feel cared for, supported and celebrated. I do lots of speaking and one of the things I ask my audiences is if they have had a birthing experience (as a parent) and if so, how many of them remember their nurse. I feel I can safely say that over 90% remember their nurse from a birthing experience. What they remember and talk about even decades later is the nurse who treated them with compassion and respect and who made their families and newborns feel like celebrities. We can't all be Beyonce, but we can make sure that our patients and families get VIP treatment regardless of our ability to install luxuries.




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