Prior to 2012, hospital funding was based on numbers: The more people you had coming through your doors, the more funding you received. In 2012, policy changes did away with this funding model and implemented one based on patient satisfaction. As such, hospitals' view on the patient experience changed dramatically.
Asking for feedback
In response to the satisfaction-based funding model, many hospitals found they needed to make some drastic changes. Across the nation, hospitals began to redesign their facilities to better please their patients. And now more than ever, hospitals are including their communities in redesign decisions, according to Health Facilities Management.
A survey by HFM found that nearly two-thirds of respondents include their patient base in design decisions in different ways. Some ask for comments before construction begins; others reach out for feedback during the design process; and still more request community members to test out live mockups of newly designed areas of the hospital.
"If the patient is the center of the universe for health care, it makes sense to involve them," noted Andrew Quirk, the senior vice president and national director at Skanska USA, according to HFM. "I would expect these numbers to creep up in the coming years."
New hospital design trends
One theme seen across many hospital construction efforts is increased privacy. Patients staying overnight in hospitals aren't always at their best, and often want their space. So, hospitals are making a greater effort to give them just that. Some common redesign strategies to give patients a little bit more breathing room include:
- Converting semi-private rooms to private rooms – 66 percent of survey respondents indicated this would be a focus of upcoming construction efforts.
- Giving patients more control over room settings, like light brightness, window shades and temperature adjustment – 25 percent of respondents said this was important to them.
- Increasing the square footage of patient rooms – 49 percent of respondents confirmed this was one focal point of their renovations.
But patient satisfaction isn't just about what the hospital looks and feels like. It's also about how accessible it is. Many people find going to a hospital or emergency room to be out of the way. Construction Dive reported many healthcare facilities are building urgent care centers and walk-in clinics as a way to meet patient's needs in a way that's more convenient for them.
Patient satisfaction is crucial to hospitals, now more than ever. And in many cases, meeting the needs and expectations of patients means redesigning, renovating or building new locations.
When taking on a healthcare construction project, it's important to keep all medical supplies and equipment safe and out of the way of renovation efforts. Mobile Mini's portable storage solutions are perfect for keeping important supplies on-hand yet out of the way and protected from wandering patients or stormy weather