Tag Archives: Healthy

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients?

Eliminating patient frustrations seems to be a constant battle for a great number of hospitals and health systems. Hospitals that focus on improving patient satisfaction gain significant advantage over competitors. Centralized patient access is the key for providing an ideal patient experience. Self-scheduling options keep common patient frustrations low such as confusion, getting transferred back and forth on the phone and waiting. SCI Solution’s infographic depicts the 5 Stages of Frustration, as well as the corresponding 5 Stages of Patient Satisfaction. Here they are.

What Causes Both Frustration and Satisfaction In Patients

Here are the five stages of patient satisfaction:

  1. Reassured: Patients can experience this stage after leaving their physicians office well-informed about the next steps required of them.
  2. Respected: Patients can feel respected when tests are scheduled at their preferred location.
  3. In control: Online scheduling tools and resources can significantly help a patient feel like they are in control of their care.
  4. Prepared: Text message appointment reminders can help a patient feel prepared and in control.
  5. Empowered:The end result of a satisfactory care experience.

Here the five stages of patient frustration:

  1. Scared and confused:This stage can occur when patients are unsure about what is expected of them.
  2. Frustrated:Patients can feel frustrated when they struggle to manage their care and be in control.
  3. Waiting:This happens when a patient has not been given sufficient information during the care process.
  4. Surprise: Patients can experience surprises in the form of unexpected charges.
  5. Angry: When a patient experiences this stage, they may consider switching providers.

Patient-centric care is becoming much more prevalent in hospitals and private practices alike, as the healthcare industry continues to prioritize the importance of positive patient experiences. Here are a few simple ways that you can improve your practice in order to achieve greater patient satisfaction.

  1. Patient education

Providing your patients with the information and tools they need in order to improve their health is crucial to the patient experience. A patient will feel like they’ve received more comprehensive care when they leave doctor’s office with more knowledge. On top of that, studies have shown that greater patient education leads to better patient adherence, which leads to improvements in both patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

  1. Improve hospital atmosphere

Hospitals are probably one of the least relaxing places to be. The noise, harsh lighting and sterile environment don’t really play a big role in encouraging rest and relaxation. Hospitals are beginning to upgrade their décor to create a warmer environment and resolve the issue of noise pollution.Nighttime noise levels above 55 decibels can disturb sleep and even boost heart disease risk, so hospitals should be at 30 or below. Noise levels have been reported at more than 100 decibels at night in some facilities according to some studies. Hospitals can innovate to help patients relax, by developing quieter equipment, giving nurses wearable devices, and so much more.

  1. Keep supplies on hand

This seems simple enough, but make sure that medical supplies are easily on hand and always accessible. Keep supplies that are used frequently in patient rooms and make sure you have a good system to keep these supplies stocked regularly. It is frustrating for staff and patients alike when the medical professional at point of care has to stop what they’re doing to find supplies that should be easily accessible.

  1. Personalize the patient experience

Patients want to be comfortable during their hospital stay, and expect their needs to be met. Giving them a personalized experience within your hospital can do just that. Concierge Care is a suite of mobile engagement solutions that meets the patient at their fingertips. The Inpatient Satisfaction program addresses the non-clinical, non-emergency needs of each patient with in-the-moment access to their own personal “Comfort Concierge.” Using a mobile device, tablet or laptop, patients can make real-time requests from a menu of services such as room temperature adjustment, requesting a hot meal, pet therapy or a visit from clergy.

Patients are often frustrated by the inability to communicate with their doctor in between appointments. Every hospital should use technology and build systems that open the lines of communication between the doctor and the patient. This will not only foster long-term patient relationships, but it will create better health outcomes by making it easy for patients to schedule future appointments and stay consistent with healthy behaviors.

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Seasonal Influenza

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness mainly caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, depending on the person. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or even death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at a higher risk of serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Symptoms
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms that usually start suddenly:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches

Causes
The flu is caused by the influenza virus and is easily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets formed when coughing or sneezing. You can become infected if you breathe in these droplets through your nose or mouth or if the droplets come into contact with your eyes. The virus can also be spread through the sharing of food or drinks. You can also catch it by touching objects contaminated with the flu virus, then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.

Period of Contagiousness
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Although people with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins,  people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day beforesymptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.

Treatment
Most simple seasonal influenza cases are managed symptomatically and are advised bedrest at home to minimize the risk for infecting others. Treatment focuses on reducing fever and relieving the symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by taking specimens for laboratory analysis. It is important that patients monitor themselves to detect if their condition deteriorates and they require medical intervention.

Risk Factors
Anyone can get the flu and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, pregnant women, and young children.

Prevention
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is through immunization. Many hospitals and institutions haveimmunization programs which provide free, publicly-funded vaccines to those who are eligible. There are many different strains of the flu virus. The vaccine cannot protect against all of them. Scientists monitor the global spread of flu and decide which three flu strains will likely cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. Those three strains are put into the flu vaccine each year. So it is important to get immunized against the flu every year with no exceptions.Other precautions can be taken, including: practicing good hand hygiene, covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. Everyday preventive actions like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing will help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses, like flu.

Hearing Healthy Lifestyle

Hearing loss is not only for seniors or those with noise exposure but is also associated with other medical conditions.  There is emerging evidence for the association between hearing loss and both diabetes and poor cardiovascular health.  The prevention of hearing loss is yet another reason to lead a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for you on how to protect your ears and hearing health in general.

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  1. Turn the volume down

According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. If you like to enjoy music through headphones or earplugs, you can protect your ears by following the 60/60 rule. The suggestion is to listen with headphones at no more than 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. Earplugs are especially dangerous, as they fit directly next to the eardrum. If possible, choose over-the-ear headphones. Don’t forget that any loud music, not just music played through headphones, presents a risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

  1. Use earplugs around loud noises

Approximately 15% of Americans have noise-induced hearing loss because of loud work or leisure environments. Clubs, concerts, chainsaws, and any other noises that force you to shout so the person next to you can hear your voice all create dangerous levels of sound. Earplugs are convenient and easy to obtain. You can even have a pair custom fitted for your ears by your local hearing healthcare provider. Musicians’ earplugs are custom earplugs with filters that allow a person to hear conversations and music but still reduce harmful sound levels while maintaining the quality of the original sound as closely as possible.

  1. Stop using cotton swabs in your ears

It’s common for people to use cotton swabs to clean wax out of their ear canal, but this is not advisable at all. A little bit of wax in your ears is not only normal, but it’s also important. The ears are self-cleaning organs, and wax stops dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal. Plus, inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum. If you have excess wax, you can clean around the canal with a damp towel—gently. You could also use ear wax removal solution over the course of a few nights. This softens the wax so that it will eventually flow out on its own. The best solution is always to seek a professional opinion and care when possible.

  1. Keep your ears dry

Excess moisture can allow bacteria to enter and attack your ear canal. This can cause swimmer’s ear or other types of ear infections, which can be dangerous for your hearing ability. Be sure you gently towel-dry your ears after bathing or swimming. If you can still feel water in the ear, tilt your head to the side and tug lightly on the ear lobe to take the water out.You can also ensure that your ears stay dry and healthy by using custom-fit swimmers’ earplugs, which block water from entering the ear canal. They’re great for adults and kids alike, and they work wonders in preventing swimmer’s ear.

Hearing can be impacted by so many different factors and living a healthy lifestyle can contribute to the prevention of hearing loss later in life. That’s why it’s extremely important to follow these tips in order to protect your ears and hearing health.