Even though they are places of healing, hospitals can be tough on the mental health of patients. Long lines, unfriendly faces, and the fear of the unknown can easily pile up and boost a person’s natural anxiety to extremely high levels. In addition, times of crisis like the current pandemic, are especially difficult for the medical personnel, which in turn gets transmitted to the patients.
Still, regardless how the difficulty of the time, healthcare workers and hospital personnel must find ways to keep patients’ anxiety levels as low as possible. A few simple measures can go a long way in reducing stress and helping people improve (after all, there is a strong connection between mental and physical well-being).
Below, we listed a few of these measures and the benefits they may bring on the patient-medical personnel relationship.
Start from the Entrance
If you’ve ever had to go inside a hospital as a patient, you are familiar with the receptionist who hands you a stack of papers to fill in without even looking you in the eyes. And it’s not their fault!
Healthcare workers are so overwhelmed by tasks that they simply don’t have the time to think about greetings or pleasantries. Not to mention, they also have to make sure all the documents are filled in correctly and then processed.
Now, hospitals and clinics could free up the time of their reception desk operators by simply implementing a multi-service care software solution that can automate most of the intake tasks and reduce the time spent with documents. In addition, there will be fewer errors in data entry and the staff will be able to greet patients properly, thus reducing the stress of being in a hospital from the entrance.
Yes, we are humans and have limitations, but we also have empathy and can understand why someone who doesn’t deal with medical situations on a daily basis would feel anxious. When you show genuine empathy towards another human being, you allow them to share their fears and emotions, which in turn helps them feel less stressed and more in control of the situation.
Without empathy, doctors, nurses, and other people in the healthcare system are no different than the cold machines that are so common in a hospital. Moreover, when you listen to what patients have to say, you improve communication and learn more about their health state and overall problems.
Reduce the Fear of the Unknown
Just like empathy, this is an emotion most human beings know all too well. However, this fear tends to get worse in patients who suffer from an anxiety disorder (diagnosticated or not).
Luckily, this is one of the easiest fears to alleviate as all it takes is information and communication. Each person involved in the treatment and care of patients should offer as much information as possible about their specialty, steps of treatment, how the patient should feel and why, what exactly is about to happen, and more. In addition, the information should be repeated as the treatment takes place (if it’s possible) and the patient should be kept in the loop about any changes (expected or not).
Empathy, communication, and a friendly face go a long way in reducing a patient’s anxiety and increasing their satisfaction with the encounter. In addition, new technologies are easily available for hospitals interested in the automation of the check-in process and more.
In today’s day and age, the healthcare sector is one of the most in need of automation technology. This type of technology helps free the time of thousands of workers who can get involved in helping patients navigate the experience.