Are we leveraging the potential therapeutic benefit of our surroundings?

Are we leveraging the potential therapeutic benefit of our surroundings?

Space and exam room environment shouldn’t be an afterthought and can be made more beautiful by creating opportunities to engage patients and access technology.

Here are some ideas to support your therapeutic environment for healing and patient satisfaction in your practice.

  1. Dismantle digital barriers. When using your EHR, allow the technology to humanize the experience. Good design includes intentional placement of computer screens and keyboards with the doctor-patient partnership in mind. The screen should be placed so that eye contact can be maintained and that the screen can engage the patient with ease. If space limitations prevent placement of an adjustable desktop monitor stand within view of the patient, consider a laptop or mobile solution for EHR input in front of the patient.
  2. Get patients on your level. The traditional exam table is no longer the only option for setting up a basic exam room. Studies have shown that there’s great benefit in implementing recliners, such as our S4 Optic 2500-CH Examination Chair. Post-op patients, patients with mobility problems, and the clinician can appreciate that the recliner reduces strain, aids in positioning the patient at eye level, and facilitates conversation and the exam itself.
  1. Consider lighting.Doctors are accustomed to having challenging conversations with patients and family, but do they always set the right environment to do so? Mood lighting isn’t just for movie directors—it’s also good medicine. Try out our S4Optik 2000-ST Instrument Stand with low voltage Halogen Overhead Lamp.
  1. Keep it comfy. Extend a more healing touch to garments that optimize patients’ tactile clinical experience. Though paper gowns are more convenient, a recent survey by Harris Interactive found that four out of five patients prefer cloth gowns over disposable paper gowns because cloth is more comfortable.
  2. Bring out your smartphone. We have been peering into patients for centuries, and patients have never been able to see what the clinician sees—until now. Using smartphone-enabled ophthalmoscope and otoscope, the visual record can be preserved forever. You can do your usual exam of the fundus and tympanic membrane, but now you can take those vivid photos and show the patient or a specialist your findings on-the-spot or remotely. We recommend our Volk INview iPhone Fundus Camera which provides wide-angle digital color images of the retina (fundus) using an Apple iPhone or iPod

Design your offices using equipment to empower staff, patients and family members to better connect to each other and help humanize the healthcare experience. Ask yourself if the environment created is doing everything it can for your patients?