Patient comfort is a crucial quality care metric. At some level, it can help determine whether the treatment plan will be a success or a failure. But how much do healthcare professionals understand this concept? Learn four benefits of patient comfort and how technology, such as biometrics, can help.
1. Improves Health Outcomes
The goal of any treatment plan is always recovery. One way to achieve this is by promoting patient comfort in areas where it’s applicable. Negative environments can slow healing. Inpatients exposed to high levels of psychological stress — often common in hospital settings — are associated with poorer patient outcomes. Some patients may even experience post-hospital syndrome, which is a major adverse health event after admission.
A positive environment can significantly promote comfort levels and activate healing.
2. Boosts Patient Satisfaction
Comfort goes beyond providing a painless treatment. It encompasses the language — from verbal to body — that the health care team uses when facing patients. Nurturing words and thoughtful actions have the power to create a relaxing setting for recovery, encouraging patient cooperation.
Patients often find hospital stays stressful, especially older people. But if their nurse thoughtfully brings them fuzzy socks, it can change their outlook. Supportive communication and actions are part of holistic care that increases patient comfort.
3. Accelerates Recovery
A good patient-nurse relationship can reduce the length of a hospital stay and enhance the care quality and satisfaction on both sides. Meanwhile, a poor nurse-patient relationship reduces the quality of care and patient autonomy. As a result, they may demand a lot of information from the nurse but opt to make their own care decisions instead of what professionals recommend.
Such a scenario generates discomfort on both sides. Conversely, positive social connection contributes to a calm setting and positive atmosphere for patients to speed up their recovery.
4. More Receptive to Treatment Suggestions
In recent years, the healthcare industry has been making incredible strides toward increasing patient comfort. Hospitals are giving patients more control over their own pain management, improving communication from doctors, and even integrating health-monitoring technology into the clothes they wear. In fact, experts predict that 80% of textiles will feature technical integration over the next few years.
Discomfort — whether in their environment, the presence of the staff or the lack of transparency related to their health condition — breeds hesitations or distrust. In contrast, if they feel the care staff pays them adequate care and attention, they become submissive and receptive to treatment suggestions.
The Role of Biometrics in Promoting Patient Comfort
The biometric system is just one of the many technological revolutions in health care that influence patient outcomes. The industry is an early adopter of this innovation, with the initial goal of strengthening security around patient health information.
Nowadays, providers employ biometrics in several ways to ease the patient’s journey through recovery. Here are ways the field leverages it.
1. Accurate Patient Identification
The biggest benefit of using biometrics technology for patient identification is reducing medical errors. Several medical error cases have occurred throughout history, with some even fatal.
Where human interactions are involved, the risk of errors is high. Innovating matching with biometrics, such as scans of faces, irises or fingerprints, can enhance the process and patient care and satisfaction.
2. Convenient Electronic Prescription for Controlled Substances
Controlled substances — like heroin, marijuana and other narcotics used for medicinal purposes — are regulated by the DEA. The last revision to the rule allows health care practitioners to write prescriptions for these controlled substances electronically, with many choosing fingerprint biometrics as an identity-proofing method. The agency also considers other biometric identifiers, like iris scans, for multifactor authentication.
For practitioners, it’s easy, secure and seamless. For patients, it will accelerate their access to substances needed for their treatment.
3. Convenient Telehealth Service
Biometrics will be a valuable asset in expanding care access virtually. For instance, patients may receive mental health care with ease by using their phone and its fingerprint recognition feature to log into their account portal within minutes and connect with a therapist.
It skips manually filling out registration forms or clinical survey questions on repeat. With patient information stored in the cloud and unlocked by biometrics, patients can receive care without lengthy waiting times. As people become more tech-savvy, bringing the skill onto health care platforms should be easy.
Patient Comfort Is an Essential Care Quality Metric
Patient comfort can create positive domino effects on other high-quality care metrics, such as patient satisfaction and recovery. It’s a substantial factor in high-quality care and a practical way to increase the success of the treatment plan by improving staff-patient relationships, creating a positive, nurturing environment and being transparent about treatment information.