It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking about a healthcare facility as a go-to place for peace and serenity. Believe it or not, fear and anxiety are some of the main reasons why many people avoid visiting healthcare facilities. But you can make a difference by implementing measures to enhance your patients’ comfort and create a welcoming environment. The last thing you want is people preferring to stay at home instead of seeking treatment when unwell. Making your facility an inviting and comfortable place is the first step to encouraging people to seek treatment. Here are some ways your healthcare facility can boost patient comfort.
Create a welcoming environment
People always visit for health concerns and sometimes life-and-death situations. So, you’d expect most visitors to be tense, afraid, stressed out, or anxious about their health issues, including possible diagnosis results and even the treatment procedure. That’s why creating a calming environment is the first step. Start by creating a soothing waiting area devoid of anything that will cause panic, fear, or tension. For example, consider options like music for doctors waiting room to calm your patients’ nerves while they wait their turn. Also, have ergonomic furniture in your waiting area to help patients feel comfortable if they have to wait for long hours.
Explain the procedure
When patients go past the waiting phase to meet a doctor, they need to know what to expect regarding the treatment procedure. That can help alleviate unnecessary fear borne out of having the wrong information. It’s not uncommon for people to Google their symptoms and walk into a hospital already scared about the possible diagnosis. However, giving a clear explanation of every stage of their appointment and how each step will help them can lessen their anxiety. It’s also not a bad idea to ask your patients if they have any questions or concerns so that you address specific fears a patient may have.
Don’t avoid physical contact
Human touch, no matter how little, can help calm anxieties. Studies have shown that physical touch increases dopamine and serotonin levels, helping to regulate mood and relieve stress and anxiety. However, physical touch can sometimes be misperceived, so it’s best to analyze the situation first to determine if your patient will need it. As long as you remain professional in your approach, touch can be one of the best ways to build compassion, create trust, exhibit care, and make your patient feel more comfortable.
A gentle tap on the shoulder, holding of a patient’s hand, or a reassuring but gentle hand squeeze can help comfort a patient.
Make the processes as simple as possible
A patient that visits a healthcare facility is likely already struggling with an issue. Putting them through a complex and lengthy process will only add to their stress and frustration. So, if you want to make your patients feel more comfortable, simplify your process and make them as short as possible, from payment issues to registration and other processes. Also, educate your staff on how to be friendly and caring throughout each care delivery process.