December 16, 2010

Patient Experience Just As Important As Clinical Expertise

I read with great interest an article in the New York Times "How Does Your Hospital Room Make You Feel?" regarding how a patient room... how a hospital appears... private rooms... may play just as important a role in where a patient goes for treatment as the clinical expertise of its doctors.

Indeed, amenities are a critical part of the patient experience and possibly even a more valuable component of patient-centered care as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. A patient’s nonclinical experience inspires clinical productivity, drives improved clinical outcomes, and improves overall patient satisfaction.

Not that such reports are a big surprise. It's something I think all major non-healthcare corporations have already realized for decades. Just walk into any Abercrombie & Fitch or Toyota car showroom. Such businesses hit all of our senses to the 10th degree... There's the visual stimulation of models (human or otherwise). Popular music playing in the background to stimulate the ears. Lovely perfume smells in a clothing store or fresh leather in a car showroom to stimulate the nose. And oh yes... freshly baked cookies or candies to bring some zing to the taste buds.

How can you NOT like what you see/hear/taste/smell??? And, buy some things along the way given you have been stimulated into such a good mood?

Indeed, it's surprising why hospitals weren't the FIRST institutions to maximize the senses to bring peace to mind/body/soul and... to also provide medical treatment.

SO... it is with great satisfaction that our practice is affiliated with a hospital that subscribes to the importance of these non-clinical factors. Fauquier Hospital has:

• Private patient hospital rooms
• Family and friends can drop by any time, day or middle of the night
• Food that's actually good
• Patient friendly architectural features including:

  • built-in sleeping accommodations for family members
  • carpeted corridors and additional windows
  • lamps have replaced overhead lighting
  • halls have been carpeted to keep down noise or are finished in faux wood for a warmer feel
  • community artwork hangs on the walls
  • barriers between patients and staff, such as those sliding-glass windows that close nurses off from patients and the public, have been removed
  • elevators for patients and the public are separate
  • no constant paging over the intercom system, either; instead, unobtrusive music plays all the time.

• Also, a culture fostering patient care is presented.

Come check out Fauquier Hospital here!

Read the NYT article here.

Read the New England Journal of Medicine Article here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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