Hospitals are full of technology systems sharing data, although they are not always integrated to directly support the patient needs. Integration with asset location, scheduling systems and entertainment systems for example can announce caregivers and other staff as they enter the patient space or can be used to prescribe interactive learning for patients about their illness and treatment requirements. Simply informing the patient who is providing, and what their role in the treatment process is, allows the patient to feel more in control of what is going on in their healing process.
Predictive information modelling can allow for alerting caregivers to the patient needs before a request is made. As when pain medication is due to wear off, a caregiver can be notified to check-in beforehand and provide care as required. Thus, minimizing the discomfort between medication cycles and promoting a proactive approach to delivering care. This anticipation and resolution of patients’ needs can result in lower alert and call volume minimizing alarm fatigue, while at the same time allowing the caregiver to provide the care required rather than respond to the immediate needs of any given moment.
The positive effect of the physical environment on patients’ wellbeing and healing process is such that healthcare providers are investing in integrated systems that enhance patient moral, comfort, and control . Research into WELL buildings, LEED standards, and the healing environment drive innovation to solve challenges that once were the status quo, while looking to anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. While innovation can sometimes be a disruptive and uncomfortable force, in the end the spaces we design and build today are themselves direct contributors to the quality of care we will all rely upon someday.
While innovation can sometimes be a disruptive, uncomfortable force, in the end the spaces we design and build today are themselves a direct contributor to the quality of care we will all rely upon someday.
Article written by Michael Witecki, senior engineer for WSP’s Innovation Center, Boulder, USA