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Healthy Distractions Improve Outcomes
Providing healthy distractions and forms of appropriate patient entertainment and social connection has a profound impact on their level of participation in their care. Depression, anxiety and stress about their hospitalization can create a domino effect of additional physical challenges for patients. Psychological stresses can show up in very real physical ailments or create problems with existing illnesses. One way to support patients with a whole person, more restful hospital stay is to offer them opportunities for healthy distractions. Of course, TV is standard in almost all patient rooms. But more than that, you can include video visits with family and loved ones; entertainment in the form of movies or games, and mindfulness content like video imagery and music.
“Medical events have emotional and psychological consequences.”
HCI asked Brett Dowdy, Psy.D., Chief of Psychological Services at Cincinnati’s Lindner Center of HOPE and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, about the importance of offering diversion content to patients and the outcome it can have on their recovery.
Dr. Dowdy offered, “We know that medical events have emotional and psychological consequences. While we attend to the body’s recovery, we often neglect attending the mind, emotions and spirit of the client. In times of emotional distress, as hospitalizations often are, several evidence-based coping skills are beneficial.”
He continues, “Clients often need assistance with self-soothing and healthy distractions. During moments of high emotional stress, it is challenging and often impossible to utilize more advanced coping skills.”
Healthy distractions for patients with medical issues are an important part of overall care. In addition to physical challenges, patients often face unexpected mental and emotional challenges during hospitalization. For providers, it’s becoming more important than ever to take into account the less tangible aspects of patient care. That includes a patient’s full history, their relationships, living situation, family and social life. With a focus on patient centered and whole person care, offering ways to reduce stress helps the healing process.
Smart solutions offer a variety of patient support apps
With HCI’s MediaCare smart integration platform, you’ll find a full range of entertainment and mindfulness content to support a more relaxed and compliant patient, which can be particularly important for pediatric patients. For example, digital education content can help calm fears about treatment or discharge, and increase adherence. Soothing music, like that available from Chuck Wild and his “Liquid Mind – Musical Healthcare®” website, can be an important “silent” partner on your Care Team to help patients to get that all-important rest. Encourage healthy immune responses and create better outcomes with smart integration and a range of distracting content.
Learn how smart integration supports the emotional and psychological wellbeing of your patients.