Influence of Flooring Decisions on Patient Safety & Satisfaction

Slips, trips and falls are the second most common injury among healthcare workers, and cost the healthcare industry millions of dollars each year in lost work days. Flooring decisions have a direct influence on slip, trip and fall risk—the right flooring choices can also help to reduce worker fatigue that can contribute to more falls (see page 9).

Flooring is the most pervasive finish within any built environment. In a healthcare facility, however, flooring decisions have become increasingly important as they have a critical influence on both patient safety and satisfactions rates.

A white paper, produced by The McMorrow Reports for Facilities Management in cooperation with Shaw Contract Group, reviews the impact of flooring materials—whether carpet, resilient or hard surface—on both quality patient care and patient satisfaction. In light of changing standards and government regulations, particular attention is paid to the demands of The Affordable Care Act and its pay-for-performance initiatives.

Slips, trips and falls are the second most common injury among healthcare workers, and cost the healthcare industry millions of dollars each year in lost work days. Flooring decisions have a direct influence on slip, trip and fall risk—the right flooring choices can also help to reduce worker fatigue that can contribute to more falls (see page 9).

The concept of the patient experience is driving monumental change in healthcare facilities. Even cash-strapped facilities are making investments in their physical spaces to compete for patient business, as the built environment strongly influences perceptions about quality of care. And while consumers may not be qualified to determine the level of procedure-based care, such as surgery, patients are voting with their dollars on which healthcare facilities provide them with comfortable and clean environments, reasonable noise levels and caring, engaged staff members (Johns Hopkins, 2013).

For acoustic control, roller mobility, slip, trip, fall factors, and underfoot comfort, Glade Broadloom by Shaw was selected for Perham Health in Perham, MN.

Moreover, acute care facilities that fail to meet patient experience and quality care thresholds—as now defined by The Affordable Care Act—face the risk of running on even leaner budgets with changes in Medicare reimbursement now hinging on patient satisfaction surveys, readmission and hospital-acquired condition rates. Indeed, more than 1,400 hospitals across the country were penalized with reduced Medicare reimbursement rates in 2013 based on the results of patient surveys—and the percentage of the penalty imposed on each facility was steeper on average than the year prior.

While a thoughtful approach to installing flooring products does not represent a panacea for ailing satisfaction or quality care rates, a study of evidence-based design concepts shows that proper flooring design and finishes contribute significantly to creating better healing environments by:

  • Improving patient and staff safety
  • Reducing noise levels and resultant errors
  • Decreasing clinical staff and physician fatigue
  • Increasing clinical staff satisfaction that translates into improved care
  • Increasing feelings of well-being for patients and visitors

Please click here to DOWNLOAD the complete White Paper, Influence of Flooring Decisions on Patient Safety & Satisfaction. – The McMorrow Reports

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