If you have ever spent time comforting a loved who is hospitalized, you know the many hours of downtime and boredom experienced while sitting bedside as the patient is asleep or absent from their room during testing or treatment. Oftentimes, when patients are awake, they are in too much discomfort or in a medicated state, that prevents them from carrying on a conversation or perhaps even knowing you are present.
Hospitals have been investing in technology designed to provide patient comfort, entertainment, and distraction in their quest to improve the overall patient experience. Often forgotten however is the person in the patient room most likely to have the time, desire, and ability to take advantage of this technology – the visitor! Ask most visitors and they will tell you that having access to TV, movies, games, or the internet would be a welcome respite during the hours their loved one is asleep or out of the room.
Many hospitals admit that patient surveys, whose results can have a direct impact on reimbursement and public perception, are being completed by a loved one or friend and not the patient. Therefore, it stands to reason that a hospital needs to be attentive to the needs of visitors when it comes to providing technology that enhances the overall “patient/visitor” experience. In doing so, all the patient room stakeholders, the patient, visitor, and hospital, stand to benefit.