Visitor Experience: Why is it Important?
The visitor experience in the healthcare setting – what’s the experience of loved ones, friends and family? They’re important stakeholders in the patient’s care journey. If you have ever spent time comforting a loved who is hospitalized, you know the many hours of downtime and boredom you can experience while sitting bedside as the patient is asleep or absent from their room during testing or treatment. Often when patients are awake they are in too much discomfort or are in a medicated state, unable to socialize, preventing them from carrying on a conversation or perhaps even knowing you are present.
Hospitals invest in technology designed to provide patient comfort, entertainment, and distraction in their quest to improve the patient experience. Often forgotten, however, is the visitor experience – the visitor being the person or people most likely to have the time, desire, and ability to take advantage of this technology. Ask most visitors and they will tell you that having access to TV, movies, games, or the Internet is a welcome diversion during the hours their loved one is asleep or out of the room.
The Visitor Log creates a history of rounding for patients and families to view. Integrated with the Real Time Location Service, all badged staff members who enter a patient room are logged with entry and exit times. This provides reassurance to parents and guardians about who is caring for and tending to their loved one’s needs. The Visitor’s Log is an additional layer of reporting for administrative purposes so providers can review rounding history and creates a record to protect the healthcare provider.
HCI offers Android apps through our Interactive Patient Care solutions to entertain and educate patients and their visitors or family using the in-room patient TV. Visitors will find access to streaming games, music and movies, and they can participate in educational content with the patient to help avoid a readmission, or to educate parents about conditions and treatments when the patient is a minor child who may not understand their challenge.
HCI offers a “Visitor’s Station” control which connects to the in-room interactive television. The Visitor’s Station allows more than one person to control the TV. This provides distraction and alleviates boredom for visitors when the patient is out of the room or asleep.
Social Connection Through Video
As an additional resource for family connection, the HCI Family and Friends Connect Module used with our Patient Whiteboards allows loved ones and patients to connect with outside family and friends to offer reassurance and updates. This can help alleviate patient and family stressors such as waiting for test results or general anxiety from the hospitalization experience.
Quality and Service Surveys
Many hospitals admit that patient surveys, the results of which can have a direct impact on reimbursement and public perception, are being completed by a family member, not the patient. 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 with higher satisfaction rates and higher HCAHPS scores.
For additional support for the visitor experience, The National Institutes of Health provide a number of research papers and resources to support healthcare providers in various methods of managing the visitor experience in the hospital setting. For more product details, refer to the product page for our Visitor’s Station.
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