How Quality Hospital Linens and Gowns Affect the Patient Experience

Posted by Joe Geraghty on Wed, Jul 09, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

patient satisfactionThe landscape of healthcare has changed dramatically over the years. More than ever before, Americans visit outpatient facilities in non-emergency situations. With the proliferation of outpatient facilities and urgent care centers, consumers have more choices between medical providers. In this era of consumer-centric healthcare, hospital linens, patient gowns and overall cleanliness shape the entire patient experience.

Your patients’ perception of your facility and its level of service has never been more important to your business. Executive Insight echoes this sentiment: “Providing quality medical treatment is not mutually exclusive from providing a positive experience, but actually mutually dependent. When patients are more satisfied, less stressed or depressed, they heal faster.”

In fact, according to a study conducted by The Beryl Institute – The State of Patient Experience in American Hospitals 2013: Positive Trends and Opportunities for the Futurethe creation of formal structures to address the hospital patient experience increased by 10% between 2011 and 2013. The number of executive leaders appointed to dedicated patient experience management roles increased as well.

Various features and services of medical facilities make a difference, from free coffee and Wi-Fi to high-definition TVs. Now, many outpatient facilities and hospitals are trending closer to spas. Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield, Michigan, went as far as to invest $360 million in a resort-style renovation, which includes an on-site greenhouse for fresh produce.

Even clean, high-quality medical gowns and hospital linens play a big role in shaping the impression you make on your patients. Comfortable, plush, soft and warm fabrics have been shown to make patients more relaxed, despite being in an uncomfortable situation. Much like the work of The Beryl Institute, ImageFIRST has conducted studies that show that our exclusive line of plush Comfort Care products has a positive impact on patient perception.

One of these studies focused on an inpatient/outpatient center where patients were surveyed on their impression of the medical facility. These surveys were conducted before and after the facility’s switch to the new Comfort Care line of plush robes and gowns. The results showed a 500% increase in patient satisfaction after the facility began using the Comfort Care garments.

The reality is that whether you’re working in the healthcare field or the resort and spa industry, consumer perception is shaped by everything you do. If you provide high-quality Comfort Care gowns but your customer service or quality of care is lacking, your patients won’t have a positive experience. By the same token, you risk patient satisfaction if you offer comfortable linens and blankets but low-quality gowns.

Cleanliness and quality are partners in shaping your patients’ perceptions. If medical and hospital linens have stains and tears or are generally uncomfortable, they’re not helping to provide an exceptional experience.

Ensure that your hospital linens, blankets, gowns and robes are all of high quality. Having uniform quality in everything that affects patient perception differentiates your medical facility from others and makes the patient experience a superior one.

Want to learn more about the benefits of quality linens and gowns? Read our case study about Eastside Medical Center’s switch to ImageFIRST's Comfort Care products: The Immediate Impact Of Plush Patient Robes And Gowns On Patient Perception. Or please call us directly at 1.800.408.0370 to speak with an ImageFIRST Associate or click here to connect.