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The healthcare industry has historically been at the forefront of new technology. Patients are driving new healthcare trends, while life-changing medical devices and telemedicine robots perform surgeries and drive new experiences for patients. For many patients, the healthcare experience can be stressful and overwhelming. But the adoption of new technology enhances the interaction among patients, doctors and specialty physicians.
The adoption of new technology can be used as a tool to inform, communicate and relax patients — and while we’ve broken a lot of ground in healthcare technology, there’s still more to explore. To provide a better experience for patients, we anticipate a dramatic shift in the healthcare industry to replicate characteristics of the hospitality industry. While hotels meet basic lodging needs, today’s consumers want — and expect — more from each stay. The healthcare industry needs to turbocharge the guest experience to meet new consumer needs and differentiate their facilities in the ever-changing marketplace.
Hospitals can feel scary and uncomfortable for many. To create a welcoming guest experience, the healthcare industry can embrace audio and video, aromatherapy and interior design to help patients and visitors, whether they’re adults or children, feel welcome. The experience should start at check-in. Guests should be greeted at the hospital, urgent care or clinic — one easy way to do that is to display a QR Code that streamlines the check-in process. This eliminates the need for guests to wait in the lobby. Instead, guests can walk outside or visit the gift shop and be alerted by their phone. Once guests have checked in, their number can be displayed on digital signage throughout the facility. A waitlist sets an expectation for the current wait time; digital signage can also create a relaxing experience by showing video scenes, such as waterfalls and beach scapes.
In-room entertainment with video displays and distributed audio can help to entertain patients and their guests within their room. Distributed audio combined with acoustic treatment can be incredibly beneficial for masking sound between hospital rooms. Each room should be equipped with a tablet to control the audio and video technology, to manage video-streaming technology, and to access applications for sleep and meditation.
MRI tests can be frightening for patients. But rooms with specialty equipment, like MRI scanners, can teleport guests to an imaginative and welcoming world through audio and video technology. The University of Pittsburgh Hospital transformed the dark and flickering fluorescent lights in the room to create a positive experience through aromatherapy, calming decoration and disco-ball bubbles, creating an underwater adventure for patients. The MRI scanner is no longer just a scanner, but a yellow submarine that distracts patients during the procedure.
The physical care received by patients from healthcare professionals is only one piece of the healthcare-experience puzzle. Embracing unique amenities, entertainment and technology can create a positive patient experience — one that emulates the hospitality industry and helps all visitors feel welcome.
AV Planners has proven success in designing and integrating healthcare spaces. Contact AV Planners to learn more about our services. Keep up with the latest news from AV Planners on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.