Charging stations are becoming increasingly invaluable within the healthcare industry, offering stress-free charging of electronics and equipment for patients, visitors, and employees alike.
Whether someone is waiting to be attended to or awaiting an update on a loved one, the waiting room at the hospital, clinic, or emergency room can be a drag—we’ve all been there. In such a gloomy—and let’s face it—boring environment, patients and their visitors often depend on the distraction of their phones and other electronic devices to help pass the time. And there’s nothing more inconvenient than running out of battery and not finding an electrical outlet or other charging option readily available.
On top of patient needs, there’s also the critical issue of keeping surgical equipment ready to go at a moment’s notice. The last thing your patients, visitors, and staff need is for their electronic devices and surgical equipment to flat line at a crucial time. Enter the charging station: an essential technology in the healthcare industry.
Does My Healthcare Facility Really Need a Charging Station?
Technology exists to make life easier for everyone involved. Your facility may currently be functioning without any charging stations, but there’s always room to improve—especially in terms of patient satisfaction rates. When it comes to the customer experience at your healthcare facility, making your patients’ lives easier, all while improving internal operations, really goes a long way.
Recent data points to the usefulness of this technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone, but only 36% of them are satisfied with their battery life. Since many consumers now use smartphones as their sole source of Internet access, the batteries drain fast. A visit to the emergency room is often an all-day (or night) affair, at the very least, and with many people having to charge their phones multiple times each day, providing your patients with this technology is a significant advantage.
Let’s explore the various benefits that charging stations offer healthcare facilities.
Offering Value to Patients
In the healthcare industry, your patients’ peace of mind and convenience is one of your top priorities. Having a phone charging station readily available in the waiting room can go a long way in ensuring that your patients, as well as their visitors, have a more pleasant experience at your facility.
Electronic devices such as cellphones have evolved over the years. Rarely do you find one with only a single use. Cell phones, for example, have multiple uses such as the camera, GPS systems, flashlight, and calculator. All these functions, and more, come in handy at any given time, particularly in a healthcare crisis. Being able to use a device while patients wait to see a doctor can help take their mind off difficult situations and enable them to communicate more easily with family.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians’ latest National Report Card on emergency care in the U.S., the average waiting time in emergency rooms nationwide is 272 minutes, or 4.5 hours, from arrival at the ER to departure. That wait time increases in certain areas like Washington DC, where the average is 7.5 hours. If we consider both patients and their visitors, that’s a lot of hours on the phone without getting a charge.
Basically, it’s a waiting game. Whether your patients are using their phones for entertainment to kill time, or communicating with family and friends—or both—chances are the batteries on their devices will need to be charged at least once while they’re waiting. While it may seem minimal, the simple fact that you offer charging stations and other facilities don’t could make all the difference for attracting and retaining patients.
What This Means for You:
- Increased patient satisfaction. You would be surprised how much small conveniences like charging stations can help improve the customer experience. Never underestimate the power of being able to stay in touch with friends and family during a health crisis -- fully charged cell phones help facilitate this communication with patients’ support networks. Healthcare facilities may see this improved experience reflected in higher patient satisfaction rates.
- Visitors stay for longer periods of time. Again, with the added convenience of charging stations and the varying waiting times in the process of seeing a healthcare professional, visitors and patients may be more likely to spend more money in your facility or come back again. All thanks to a few power stations.
- Additional revenue through display advertising. Many charging stations and kiosks have HD display screens, perfect for advertising. You can use these screens to display other services you may offer, or sell the space to other businesses. This is an effective way of generating additional revenue to cover costs for purchasing more charging stations or maintaining the ones you have. At the end of the day, your charging stations may just end up paying for themselves.
Get the most out of your charging stations by placing them in areas with the most traffic, such as the lobby or waiting room, giving patients and visitors use of the station when and where they need it most.
Charging and Sanitizing Hospital Equipment
Imagine needing a piece of hospital equipment only to find out that it isn’t charged and needs to be plugged in at a critical time. That’s the stuff that healthcare administrators’ nightmares are made of. In a modern world where healthcare and technology go hand in hand, ensuring that your equipment is ready for use at all times makes a huge difference.
Hospital equipment comes in all shapes, sizes, and uses: from the simple tablet used to fill out forms and questionnaires or place room service orders from the hospital bed, to more sophisticated surgical equipment. No matter how big or small, each piece of equipment plays its part in ensuring your facility remains competitive and runs smoothly.
Your patients and visitors aren’t the only ones who require convenience. Your staff does too. In order to do their job effectively, they need their equipment to work at all times. A conveniently located charging station, cabinet, or cart makes the task of charging and sterilizing equipment that much easier, allowing you to serve your patients more efficiently.
Sterilizing equipment is another crucial component of healthcare facility operations. With the prevention of infections from pathogens and microbes that linger on hospital surfaces a major concern of healthcare facilities, quick and effective sanitation is a necessity. Research shows that cell phones alone carry 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats, not to mention other devices that hospital or clinic staff commonly use, including computers, PDAs, and tablets. Having a secure place for staff to sterilize their devices—not to mention other facility equipment—allows for a superior level of cleanliness.
It’s therefore in your best interest to ensure that nothing gets in the way of the equipment sterilization process. Take the UV Charging Cabinet, for example. It effectively disinfects and charges up to 40 devices at the same time. Its UV light technology inactivates microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. UV light is “an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, and highly effective way to disinfect and safeguard” against pathogens and microorganisms, according to Trojan UV.
In an industry where each second could be the difference between life and death, a charging station that does more than one job is literally a lifesaver; and it takes the load off your already busy staff.
Portable Charging for Home Caregiving
With approximately 12 million people in the U.S. receiving home care, according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), caregivers require convenient charging equipment for all the technology and medical equipment they use with their patients. Portable charging stations offer this convenience without placing a further burden on the electrical outlets and power grids of patient homes.
Cell phones for communication, tablets for keeping patient information, and batteries for various medical machines. No matter what electronic device is being used, it needs to be charged. And, the more critical the patient, the more critical the need is for reliable power sources for medical monitoring devices and other types of equipment like C-paps and nebulizers. A portable charging station helps ensure that caregivers are able to provide optimum, uninterrupted care, no matter what the circumstances (power outage, winter storm)—and communicate quickly in an emergency.
Which Charging Stations Work Best for My Facility?
With a range of uses and capacities, there’s no need to settle for just one charging station for your healthcare facility. From a power floor stand charging station to a cell phone charging locker or UV charging cabinet, there are various charging solutions to satisfy the specific needs of your facility and healthcare teams. Different areas of a clinic or hospital will likely require different solutions, while mobile healthcare practitioners or caregivers will have more portable needs.
Are you looking to incorporate charging stations at your healthcare facility? Contact us today to learn more about the healthcare-minded solutions we have available for organizations like yours, and start improving your customer experience right away.