Healthcare is a vital part of our society. It is one of the last industries to remain under government control, one of the most tightly regulated in the world, and utilises some of the globe’s most talented minds. The flooring in a health and aged care environment is often overlooked, but actually forms a critical part of the healthcare environment. It is the only surface of a room with which we are in constant contact – it makes sense that it’s nature, colour and patterning would have a huge impact on how people feel about a space. Today we are looking at the effects of colour and pattern on healthcare flooring and healthcare interior design.Why Does Colour Matter?Edward O. Wilson’s book entitled Biophilia explained it well. Human beings have a love of, and natural attraction to, living things and living systems. Healthcare facilities, unfortunately, in many cases cannot maintain a close bond with the outside world, susceptible as it is to infection and bacterial population. According to the biophilia hypothesis, it is important to ensure the colours found in a healthcare facility parallel those found in nature.Why Does Pattern Matter?Pattern matters for the same reason that colour does; purely because of its visual proximity or distance to what is found in nature. Flooring in a healthcare environment should, according to the hypothesis, stay away from patterns that are a construct of human imagination or mathematics, and try to mimic what is found in nature. Leaves, grass and flowers are some good examples.What Colours Are Best in a Health & Aged Care Environment?There is a huge amount of debate about this subject. Some people draw a direct and causative link between the presence of a particular colour in the environment, and increased healing. This is simply unproven. However, there is little doubt that the presence or absence of certain colours in the environment can have an effect on an individual’s mental wellbeing. The colours that dominate in nature are more likely to find broad appeal than colours like bright yellows, pinks, purples – except as minor accents, which is how they would be found in the natural world.The aim is to create spaces that put people at ease. Green tones have the ability to enliven and refresh, calm and centre. Blue tones are relaxing. Golds are vibrant and soulful. Browns are naturally graceful and stable and greys are quite and reserved.Other Considerations for Colour Choice: Culture, Geography and Use of SpaceIn some cultures, colours and patterns have different associations than they do in others. This is mostly true of bright colours representing a single hue. Natural colours work best with a range of cultural differences.Geography will be a consideration as well – lighter colours may be more appropriate in warm climates, darker colours may work better for cool climates, for example. Being able to delineate different spaces within the health and aged care setting is also extremely helpful in organizing the movement of people throughout the facility. Flooring is a subtle way to do this, and delineation is best achieved with carpet tiles.
What does a healthcare facility need to know about their organization needs before finalizing their transcription service provider?Outsourcing of a healthcare facility’s medical transcription needs can be a difficult and complex decision. Analyzing what exactly are the needs of the healthcare facility can make the decision making process simpler.What they need is to look at is the current situation and where they want to be in the future. To analyze the healthcare facility’s current position regarding medical transcription they need to ask themselves the following questions:
Who does the current work?
How much time does it take?
How many people are employed to do the work?
How much space do they occupy?
What is the equipment required?
What is the total budget outflow?
How much management time is spent on managing transcription work?
What are the IT requirements?
What is the expenditure on Annual maintenance and repairs of their transcription equipment?
Are the people involved in transcription also helping out with other areas of work?
Are they overworked/ under worked sometimes?
What is the time allotted by Human Resources Department towards medical transcription requirements?
Is the health care facility satisfied with the current quality, quantity and turnaround time?
How are the healthcare facility transcription requirements taken care of on weekends and during holidays?
How much is Medical Transcription ‘actually’ costing them per line?Having answers to these questions will clarify their current position and give them an idea of what they need to look for in the service provider they are outsourcing to. Now that they have thoroughly analyzed their current situation, they need to plan their future requirements in this area. That should be fairly simpleMinimum or no investmentIn these times of increasing costs and limited budgets one of their priorities would be to make sure that there is minimum or no investment required to take care of their medical transcription needs.Huge cost savingsOne of the important benefits of outsourcing the healthcare facility’s medical transcription needs is that of cost saving. They should be looking to save costs not only in terms of cost of transcription but also other cost benefits like cost of utilities, improvement to receivables cycle, opportunity costs and improved employee efficiency.Fast and efficient turnaround timeMedical Transcription does not directly affect the income of the healthcare facility, but it does play a significant role in the smooth and efficient running of the healthcare facility. Getting medical records transcribed on time can help speed up the receivables cycle.Good quality and accurate transcriptionMaintaining or improving the quality and accuracy of medical records is very important for quality of patient treatment and for record keeping.Security of confidential patient informationHIPAA/HITECH has laid down guidelines to ensure the security and confidentiality of patient information. While engaging a third party for transcription work it is very important to ensure that the data is transmitted through secure channels and that the service provider is HIPAA/HITECH compliant.Easy adaptationBeing in the health care industry, it is very important that the technology used by the service provider should be easy to use and should not require lengthy training.Transcripts to be done in specified formatsThe healthcare facility should look for a service provider, which will be able to provide transcribed reports in specified formats.Good customer serviceIt makes transition much simpler when there are open channels of communication available so that contact with the service provider in case of any clarifications can be through various means, whether through phone, fax or email.Powerful archiving facility to facilitate easy document retrievalOne important consideration for the healthcare facility while outsourcing would be that the service provider provides archiving facilities that make document retrieval easy.