I’ve heard about this happening in some U.S. hospitals and in healthcare facilities abroad. Evidence suggests social support from family helps patients heal emotionally and physically. The presence of family also can reduce the risk of a patient fall. So, it’s likely that teaching family to be caregivers inside and outside of the hospital will increase as hospitals face the need to reduce 30-day hospital re-admissions and deal with staff shortages.
This prompts the need for a family zone in the patient room, which is referenced in a research summary titled, “Patient Rooms: A Changing Scene of Healing,” but what features create the best family zone? You might see a work surface, a place to sleep, access to power, or Wi-Fi. Some hospitals already are including a second television or refrigerator. Going forward, patient rooms will have to adapt to support the needs of families as caregivers.