Gone are the sterile white walls and the smell of disinfectant. Gone are the tiny family and visitor spaces with a few couches for sitting and watching TV and a couple of vending machines with the hum of fluorescent lighting.
Healthcare facilities are paying greater attention to the importance of family members in patient care and upgrading or renovating their family and visitor spaces to be more welcoming, with places to sit as well as grabbing a bite to eat and staying connected with work and friends. It tells the families how important they are.
This shift is attributed in part to healthcare reform. I quote, “There’s a lot of talk about patient engagement, and family is a big part of that, especially when you’re dealing with the elderly, children, or even a spouse.”
Family members are now considered a critical part of the healing process and their engagement can play an important role in reducing preventable readmissions, which could help save facilities from incurring financial penalties to hospitals, as part of the Affordable Care Act. This new mindset is leading organizations to put more thought and planning muscle into creating appealing spaces that support these caregivers’ needs.